Catholic Medical Quarterly Volume 65(2) May 2015

Supporting Refugees in Iraq

An urgent appeal from our chaplain

Cardinal in ErbilAs you may have seen from recent media reports, the Cardinal has just returned from Erbil in Kurdistan. He was there at the invitation of the Catholic Chaldean Archbishop, Basher Warda, to visit the tens of thousands of displaced Christians who fled from Mosul and the Plain of Nineveh when ISIS invaded, and are now being looked after in Erbil.

Although the people’s stories were harrowing and their present living conditions very tough, their faith and courage is wonderfully inspir­ing. Despite having left everything behind to flee into an uncertain future, there is nevertheless no shortage of joy and hope.

Edifying, too, is how the local Churches (Catholic [of Chaldean and Syrian rites] and Syrian Orthodox) responded to so many people in desperate need landing so suddenly at the doorsteps. Not only did they provide initial emergency accommodation in tents, but have already improved the accommodation to cabins and even - in quite a number of cases - to rented accommodation in apartments. As well providing liturgical and spiritual care, they have further organised social, educational, leisure and medical services too.
It is the last about which I seek your advice. The two clinics we visited were seeing about 300 people a day. They struggle to purchase the medicines provided, and the personnel are overworked. I wonder if there is any way the CMA could assist, either financially through the charitable fund it has, or by way of expertise.... maybe some members might like to volunteer their services?

What do you think? Is it worth exploring this further? I look forward to hearing from you.
Prayers and God bless
Fr John

We will support this work through the Catholic Medical Missionary Society,
a charity for which many of our members are regular donors.
Please do send any donations you can to our head office at
39 Eccleston Square, London SW1V 1BX.
And if you can volunteer, please do!