More than two million internally displaced Iraqis are still unable to return to their homes. Having been targeted in the recent terrorist attacks, Christians are now among them.
The Iraqi Government estimates that several thousand families fled to the north of the country in 2010 alone. Weather conditions have compounded the difficulties of those fleeing, creating for many of them a state of humanitarian emergency.
The Federal Foreign Office is therefore making 300,000 euro available for humanitarian aid for almost 2000 families in the province of Ninawa, where particularly large numbers of Christians have sought shelter. Those in need will be provided with blankets, food, hygiene kits, warm clothing and medicines throughout the winter months.
The German Government is supporting the project as part of its continuing efforts to assist internally displaced persons in Iraq and prevent further waves of people there being forced from their homes. The Federal Foreign Office places several million euro at the disposal of various aid organizations, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), to provide assistance for internally displaced persons and Iraqi refugees in neighbouring countries.
The situation of ethnic and religious minorities, especially that of Iraq’s Christians, causes the German Government serious concern. For this reason, Federal Foreign Minister Westerwelle included a meeting with representatives of the Christian communities in Baghdad in his visit to Iraq on 4 December 2010. He placed particular emphasis on the crucial need to protect minorities in order to ensure a peaceful future for Iraq.