Canadian Lutheran World Relief receives $1.3 million to support Iraqis displaced by violence

Funding is part of the Government of Canada’s new $100 million contribution to humanitarian relief in Syria and neighbouring countries, announced today

Winnipeg, MB – Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR) will receive up to $1.3 million from the Government of Canada to support people who have been affected by violence in Iraq.

This afternoon, Canada’s International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau announced a $100 million contribution to humanitarian projects in Syria and neighbouring conflict-affected countries. CLWR’s Executive Director Robert Granke attended the announcement in Ottawa.

Of the $100 million total, $31.8 million went to the Syria Emergency Relief Fund, which matches the donations Canadians made to registered Canadian charities between September 12, 2015, and February 29, 2016, in response to the Syrian crisis.

The additional $68.2 million will support several humanitarian projects in Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon, including CLWR’s “Emergency and Resilience-Building Assistance” project in Iraq.

This one-year project will upgrade overworked public water systems in communities hosting large numbers of displaced people in the Kurdistan region of Iraq and in areas newly liberated from Islamic State forces. The work will make clean water and sanitation readily available to displaced people and local community members alike.

children from a village in Iraq where water work was done

Children from a village in Iraq where CLWR improved public water services last year. Home like this one received repairs or upgrades to the pipes that connect them to the main water lines. This new funding will continue this work. CLWR/H. Patterson

The project will also provide mental health services to people affected by sectarian violence.

“The trauma of violence and displacement puts terrible stress on families, and the communities who host them struggle to meet everyone’s needs,” says Granke. “We will support workshops that will promote healthy ways to cope with trauma, which will address domestic violence and conflict within communities.”

In 2015, CLWR received a $1.8 million grant from the Canadian government to provide shelter, water, and household items to displaced people in the Dohuk area of northern Iraq. This new project will build on this experience and further meet urgent humanitarian needs.

Canadian Lutherans gave $707,797 to Syrian refugee relief during the matching period for the Syria Emergency Relief Fund.

The donations support a number of CLWR projects in Jordan, including work to repair school infrastructure used by Jordanian and Syrian refugee students, mental health programs for youth in the Za’atari refugee camp, and food assistance and cash distribution programs for families struggling to meet food, rent and medical needs.

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