Christian, Yazidi and other refugees in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq who fled Islamic State terrorists now face a freezing winter with temperatures of 35 to 55 degrees and few resources to sustain them.
“Winter is upon them, and it is already cold at nights, but they don’t have anywhere to go,” Juliana Taimoorazy, president of the Iraqi Christian Relief Council told the National Catholic Register. “This is a human tragedy unfolding in front of our eyes, and not enough is happening.
The refugee camps are already affected by fever and disease, she said. Thousands of refugees have left Iraq altogether and crossed the border into Turkey.
According to the UN there are about 850,000 Iraqi refugees in Kurdistan, including 150,000 Christians.
Caroline Brennan, of Catholic Relief Services, told NCR: “Just weeks or months ago, they were middle-class; they had homes; they had careers: They were corporate professionals or barbers or teachers or college students. Now, they are just living under extremely perilous conditions.”