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From the Field3 min read


5 Ways We’re Saving Refugees’ Lives This Winter

Blog Team
Jan 27, 2016

Biting winds and frigid temperatures have made it clear that winter has made its chilling return in Iraq, and over 3 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) have once again found themselves at its mercy.

The onset of another brutal winter has sent millions to the edge of hopelessness and despair—dreams of returning to the comfort and stability they once knew have long since vanished—and hope for a life beyond the task of survival has become nearly impossible to imagine.

Children of war - World Help

But we have an opportunity to reach into one of the worst humanitarian crises of our time and literally save lives. World Help is strategically positioned to make an immediate, life-saving difference for thousands of vulnerable refugees.

Here are 5 ways we’re saving lives this winter:

  1. Relief Supplies

And right now the winter is coming and we don’t have anything, like no clothes, no heaters, no blankets, nothing. And it is very cold, especially in the night. So our children . . . they don’t have clothes.” —Syrian refugee from Mosul.

Falling temperatures, heavy rain, blustery wind, and even snow are making their way inside the flimsy shipping containers and makeshift tents millions now call home. For most, there is no escape from these unbearable winter conditions, and for months on end, life is consumed with nothing more than survival.

Iraq refugee crisis - World Help

Proper winter supplies can mean the difference between life and death for thousands. Through the provision of wood-burning stoves, heaters, kerosene, warm blankets, durable winter coats and boots, mattresses, and all-weather tents, we are making an unimaginable difference for refugees with no relief from the cold.

  1. Food

Can you imagine the difference just one warm meal could make for refugees enduring winter conditions without proper nutrition? In the face of such deeply taxing circumstances, a nutritious meal can provide a glimpse of hope and comfort that brings much-needed rest to weary souls.

Our partners are strategically positioned to distribute nutritious meals that will help sustain refugee families throughout the brutal winter months. While we cannot change the ongoing uncertainty of the future for these refugees, we can provide the comfort and assurance of their next meal.

Iraq child displacement crisis - World Help

  1. Medical Attention

With enduring temperatures as low as -4 degrees Fahrenheit, without proper protection from the elements, something as mild as a common cold can take a deathly turn. Without access to basic medical care, sickness and disease run rampant throughout refugee camps, only confounding the suffering of these refugees.

But through the provision of life-saving medicine and a fully staffed mobile medical clinic, we are equipped to treat common colds and viruses long before they become life threatening, and stop diseases from spreading. By providing medical attention, we can also bring the hope and comfort of knowing help is available for those who need it.

  1. Trauma Support and Rehabilitation

Over 3 million Iraqi refugees are enduring their second winter away from home . . . something they prayed would never happen again. With excruciating winter conditions, combined with uncertainty of the future, unresolved trauma, and the ongoing fight for survival, despair continues to escalate in the hearts of thousands.

Iraq displacement camps

While physical needs are overwhelming, the emotional health of these men, women, and children cannot go unaddressed. Through providing emotional support and counseling resources, we can help lift refugees out of despair before it takes a devastating toll on both mental and physical health.

  1. Spiritual Support

Despite countless hopes deferred . . . despite devastating loss and unimaginable suffering, our brothers and sisters in the Middle East continue to hold on to the faith they’ve sacrificed everything to claim.

“I know we lost everything, but we have Christ. We have God. God will provide everything for us,” one Syrian refugee told us.  

Children of Iraq - World Help

Faith alone has carried multitudes of refugees through circumstances we cannot begin to imagine . . . it has given their lives purpose when all feels meaningless and hope when the voice of despair rushes in. Through the provision of Bibles, church buildings, and other Christian resources, we can help support and grow the incredible faith of brothers and sisters.

* * *

Winter is far from over and hundreds of thousands of refugees still have yet to be reached with a reason to believe they haven’t been forgotten. With the comfort of a hot meal, a warm blanket, durable winter coats and boots, and the spiritual support they desperately need . . . we can make a life-saving difference.

We’ve made it easier than ever to get involved . . . so please join us today and help save the lives of our brothers and sisters this winter.



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