aee7c7cf-a86e-4e0b-b4f4-5a8b5f2c6ef3.jpgToday is World Refugee Day. Yesterday the House passed an Iraq Supplemental with no deadlines for withdrawal and with funding for the occupation into next year.

Every day in Iraq, the Iraqi Red Crescent workers put their lives on the line to bring food, water, and medical care to their fellow Iraqis. Scores of these humanitarian workers have been kidnapped, murdered and harassed by death squads. Reports of raids on Red Crescent offices by our forces are frequent. Yet they keep on working – doing all they can to bring relief to internally displaced Iraqis and to their neighbors across Iraq. IRC is the only organization still bringing such aid to every region of Iraq and across all sectarian lines.

A number of us thought today was a very good day to flood the IRC with donations – and even if you can only donate a little, they will put every bit to work. This is one small way we can show our opposition to the occupation and our concern for the devastation our country is causing the Iraqi people.

To send a donation, click here and select “Iraq Humanitarian Response” in the “I want my contribution to go here” box. 100% of your donation will go directly to assisting Iraq Red Crescent’s work. Here’s what your donation will buy:

Every 15 days, Iraqi Red Crescent networks deliver food rations that include flour, rice, sugar, vegetable oil, tomato paste, salt, jam, spaghetti, lentils, tea, sardines, and cheese. The $33.50 USD cost per family ration covers the expense of the food, distribution, transport and security. (These rations are delivered to 200,000 families.)

A share of non-food items contains 4 blankets, a cooking stove, lantern, 2 jerry cans, a kitchen set and thermos, which are distributed every three months at a cost of $99.50 USD per family.
(These supplies are delivered to 50,000 families.)

Since it is World Refugee Day, here’s an overview of the work IRC did last year for the Internally displaced families in Iraq :

Since March 2006, the Iraqi Red Crescent maintained a humanitarian aid operation to assist IDP and destitute families through the distribution of food and non-food relief items. This is in addition to distribution of gifts on national occasions, kitchen sets, school kits, fuel and water and provision of basic medical care to IDP residing in the Iraqi Red Crescent camps. More than 11,625 volunteers are contributing to this operation.

Since March 2006, the Iraqi Red Crescent distributed 584,093 food shares, 322,134 shares of relief items and 271,481 hygiene kits to IDP and destitute families. This distribution took place through the Iraqi Red Crescent branches and offices in the 18 governorates. Other humanitarian aid distributions took place through the Iraqi Red Crescent Headquarters to local non-governmental organizations, orphanages and institutions serving special vulnerable groups. In April 2008, distributions took place in Baghdad, Basra, Diwaniya and Dohuk governorates, where the Iraqi Red Crescent branches distributed 3,559 food baskets and 767 relief shares, in addition to wheat flour and rice in Baghdad.

And you can listen here to hear IRC president Dr. Said Hakki describe their recent efforts during the Sadr City siege and their work to rebuild neighborhoods in Baghdad.

Sending a donation to support these efforts seems the least we can do as our Congress continues to approve funds for the very occupation that leads to these conditions.

Again, to send a donation, click here and select “Iraq Humanitarian Response” in the “I want my contribution to go here” box. 100% of your donation will go directly to assisting Iraq Red Crescent’s work.

Our friends at Crooks and Liars, EENR Progressive Blog, Main and Central, Florida Speaks, Slobber and Spittle, and Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation will be joining in – let us know of any other links we can add to this list.

Two good posts for background can be found at A Refugee Story (h/t Laura) and at Cujo’s Iraq’s Refugees Eight Months Later.