From May 12th to 14th 2020, Operation Mercy in Iraq distributed food and hygiene kits to 65 families who are a part of our Community Based Rehabilitation project for Syrian refugees and Iraqi internally displaced people in seven camps. Each family received a food and hygiene kit.
Another goal for the distribution was to connect with each family and check in to see how they are doing not only physically, but emotionally as well. Questions were asked by Operation Mercy local staff to each family regarding their circumstances and if there was anything they thought Operation Mercy should know.
Several families mentioned living in fear of what would happen should the virus come to the camps as most live in very close quarters. One family said that “Operation Mercy brought these items at the perfect time.” It can be especially hard on this population as each family has a person with disabilities which means that those with disabilities likely cannot work and contribute money. This is yet another reason why reaching this population was so valuable.
One young mother has been unable to leave her house as she has five children under the age of ten. Her husband had suffered an accident prior to this time and had only been able to do light daily work to provide for his family. After the restrictions were put in place due to COVID-19, he was unable to work at all because of this inability to find light-duty work inside the camp. They were out of many necessary household and food items and were so thankful to receive the distribution gift and to see us once again.
During the distribution, it was evident that many people have been out of work while some also reported being in debt primarily due to COVID-19 restrictions. The help of these items was crucial to these vulnerable families who have people with disabilities.