From the Front: A Letter from the Director of FAI RELIEF


BY MICHAEL REYNOLDS


BASHIQA, Iraq — The liberation of Mosul has been a long time coming. Twenty-eight months coming. Our FAI RELIEF team has known about the imminent campaign to free the city from the hands of ISIS for a few months and have prepared our team accordingly. We’ve had medical professionals present since September, but due to some unforeseen stalling, the operation began in-between our two planned influxes of medical personnel. Consequently, we only have one medic in Bashiqa until our next team arrives. In order to answer the need for a greater medical presence at the front, we are supplying national medics from our region with an ambulance full of supplies to arrive at the lines tomorrow. In the days to follow, we’ll move them to wherever additional medical personnel is deemed most beneficial. 

The Kurdish military (Peshmerga) are not presently planning on assisting with the liberation of Mosul proper, but are playing a very important role in securing the northern and northeastern areas around Mosul. We do not know what their involvement will look like in the weeks and months ahead, but we desire to be present with them as long as intensive fighting continues. Here's why.

Beyond our partnership with the Peshmerga, we will be increasingly focused on providing interim care for those displaced from Mosul and the surrounding villages that have been occupied by ISIS. Our focus is not presently on providing long-term shelter, food, water, or education, but simply on assisting to make sure people survive in between Mosul and various refugee camps that they will be directed to. There is space to accommodate 60,000 people in seven sites and an additional 250,000 spaces are being built.[1]

In short, our focus is on the prevention of death in the tumultuous time between liberation and safe haven; both for the Peshmerga and the citizens from liberated areas. There could be as many as one million people displaced in the months ahead (200,000 are expected in the first 2 weeks); 28,000 are pregnant women, 17,000 are breastfeeding children under 6 months (mothers + children = 34,000), and almost 600,000 additional children.[2] 

We are confronting a large variety of expensive needs and they can only be met with continuing partnership from faithful contributors. If you’ve given to this effort, we are grateful. If you would like to give, click here. We are a small part of the large effort to ensure that these people are not dead before they get a chance at life after ISIS. 

My prayer is from a statement made by Elihu in the book of Job where he says,       

“God delivers the afflicted by their affliction
and opens their ear by adversity.”[3]

May God open hundreds of thousands of afflicted ears to the voice of His beloved Son and His Gospel of peace and may we be in the right place at the right time.

 

___________

[1]  Mosul Humanitarian Response in Numbers: Figures as of 16 October 2016. UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. http://reliefweb.int/report/iraq/mosul-humanitarian-response-numbers-figures-16-october-2016. Accessed 19 October 2016.

[2]  Northern Iraq Prepares for Mass Displacement from Mosul. UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. http://reliefweb.int/report/iraq/northern-iraq-care-prepares-mass-displacement-mosul Accessed 19 October 2016.

[3]  Job 36:15