One million more refugees expected from Mosul
“I can’t sit and do nothing while people are suffering” states Dr. Mariwan Baker the founder of Bring Hope Humanitarian Foundation (BHHF), a Swedish and Kurdish registered non-profit organization. BHHF has been delivering humanitarian aid to the millions of refugees who have sought safety and shelter in Kurdistan. Mariwan Baker, originally from Kurdistan has dedicated himself and his resources to helping the refugees in Kurdistan full time.
Over the last one and a half years BHHF has sent 55 loads of aid valued at approximately GBP 25 million. Yet today, we are on the precipice of a new drama playing out in this already unstable arena, the liberation of Mosul from ISIS control. This sets the stage for an estimated one million or more additional refugees entering Kurdistan.
Iraqi Kurdistan has become the safe haven for approximately two million refugees as ISIS has conquered, killed, maimed and terrorized the area leaving in its wake thousands of men, women and children who are traumatized, homeless and destitute. Seeing countless people killed and tortured is but one problem common to these war-victims, many now suffer daily in tent camps designed to help them. Bring Hope Humanitarian Foundation (BHHF) has helped more than 400,000 refugees mostly from Syria and Mosul, and is now one of the very few organizations involved in rescue operations on the ground.
Distributing blankets, clothing, shoes, food and badly needed medical supplies among other items has profound impact on the lives of these refugees, especially new arrivals; however, aid is extremely limited and resources are substantially lacking. With the advent of an additional million or more people set to overrun the camps, how many will again be lost this year because the world’s response comes too late for them? How many children’s tears are needed before we decide to act and act immediately? As Dr. Baker describes his commitment is strong, his will unwavering but his resources are dwindling, help is needed from the world’s community to make a difference in these lives.
These problems led Dr. Baker through his organization BHHF and several international NGOs and partners to establish the Bring Hope Coalition (BHC). Key issues identified include the lack of coordinated responses by humanitarian aid players so resources may not be directed to the right people, at the right time and in the right place, which the BHC looks to correct by providing a platform for international NGO action. Being the bridge between the NGO, transport, distribution and delivery to ensure the targeted people have access to the aid is but one aspect of the coalition.
Providing a donor platform to increase the ability to efficiently donate services; including, monetary giving, humanitarian donations of food, medical aid, sanitary and hygiene products, household products such as blankets and other comfort items, and resettlement assistance is another very important aspect. “Refugees, war-victims and poor people require assistance in a timely and meaningful manner” states Dr. Baker. BHC is designed to get key resources to those most in need in an urgent manner affording the donors assurance that those most vulnerable refugees, war-victims and poor people receive services effectively and efficiently. Another component of BHC is advocacy on priority humanitarian issues.
Lastly, Dr. Baker urges, “help us, help them” stating, “your help can be in the hands of refugees in approximately ten days.” “We urgently need your support,” says Dr. Baker, so we never again lose refugees because they freeze to death, this is the worst shame we can never explain in this century.”