ICC Note: For many of the more than 1.4 million people who are displaced in Northern Iraq, they face not only the deadly threat of ISIS but now the cold temperatures of winter that may claim the lives of many forced from their homes by the Islamic militants intent on establishing an Islamic state with no place for the Christian and other religious minorities that have occupied these lands for nearly 2,000 years.
09/25/2014 Iraq (NC Register) – Hundreds of thousands of Christian, Yazidi and other minority refugees who escaped death from the hands of Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists now face another lethal foe: the Kurdistan winter. Time is running out, as the need is great, but the resources are few for the Christian-aid groups trying to save them.
Kurdistan’s hot and dry autumn is giving way to a coming season of cold, wet and snow, where average temperatures can range from 35 to 55 degrees. The parched earth turns to mud with the winter rains, while snow and freezing temperatures will come to more mountainous regions.
“Winter is upon them, and it is already cold at nights, but they don’t have anywhere to go,” said Juliana Taimoorazy, president of the Iraqi Christian Relief Council (ICRC), an Illinois-based nonprofit raising awareness and funds for the relief of Iraqi Christians and other minorities driven from their homes by ISIS.
“This is a human tragedy unfolding in front of our eyes, and not enough is happening,” she said, adding that fever and disease already exist in the camps, and winter will make it worse. “Even the aid workers are getting sick.”