23 Mar 2015 |

Press Release: Danes help thousands escaping from terrorism

Mission East has once more given out winter help to the displaced people of Northern Iraq who are escaping from Islamic State. Secretary General, Kim Hartzner says “The displaced people are shaken, and their gratitude is touching”.

The terror attack in Copenhagen cost two human lives and shocked Denmark. In Northern Iraq, one million people are on the run from the terrorist movement of Islamic State. The terrorists brutal misanthropy is going at full blast and murdering men, raping women and force marrying girls.

“We must not forget them, not even when terror strikes Denmark and not when we, in our shocked state of mind, create a mental filter against the evil of terrorism. We must not forget the victims. We must never become immune to the need of the people” says Kim Hartzner from Mission East.

Parents killed in their sleep

He has just visited the Dahuk area in Northern Iraq and handed out winter clothes and thermal blankets to thousands of the displaced people who didn’t receive a place in UN’s refugee camps. They have been through immense pains and must now find shelter in unfinished concrete buildings or homemade tents.  

-”I met children, whose parents were shot by Islamic State while they were sleeping. Now the five siblings live in a thin tent in a field in Kurdistan, with their grandparents and three aunts, who also survived the IS attack, living in the tent next to them. I spoke with a father and one of his two sons that were amongst 70 men that were mowed down by IS. They survived miraculously by lying completely still under pile of corpses”, says Kim Hartzner.  

The first help in seven months

-”I am shaken to hear to stories the displaced people tell, but simultaneously touched by the happiness Mission East is greeted with when the winter help is handed out”, he continues.

-”I saw a family where the children in sheer joy, threw the clothes up in the air and tried on the shoes, while the parents watched, happy that their children got what they so desperately needed”, he continues.

Mission East takes priority in reaching all the way out into the small villages, to make sure that the most needy get the winter help. The organizations workers travel up into the Kurdish Mountains and find the displaced in sheds, fields and in unfinished concrete buildings. The displaced then become registered and receive a coupon that triggers the winter help, when the truck convoy reaches their area.

-”Many people tell us that the help from Mission East is the only help they have received since they fled over hill and dale in August last year”, says Kim Hartzner.

Distribution helps thousands over the winter

In the Dahuk province, there live over half a million displaced Christians and Yazidis. Half of them live outside UN’s refugee camps and must cope haphazardly. 

It is the fourth time Mission East hands out winter help in Northern Iraq, since displaced Christians and Yazidis have flocked to the area in August. The winter help, in form of jackets, hats, shirts, shoes, blankets, tarpaulins and construction materials has now helped 30.000 people.

This is possible because of presents and donations from churches, associations, companies and private donors in Denmark and abroad. Together with extraordinary resources from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the basis of the Mission East Humanitarian Partnership, and the funding from Germany and Holland, the Help Organization can help the Iraqi displaced, who would otherwise stand unassisted through the winter.