“The crisis continues in the northern region of Iraq due to the displacement of thousands of families … lacking a lot of the basic life requirements,” reports Nabil A. Nissan, the executive director of Caritas Iraq, in a memo to Bishop Murphy and others who have sent assistance to the area.

Among the major issues facing these families is the inability to go back to their homes due to the continuous presence of armed militants and the continuous conflicts and general instability in the area, he said. Families’ savings have been exhausted and they are facing a very uncertain future.

“Meetings with these families indicate that most of them don’t have a clear vision of the future, or whether to settle down in the new areas of displacement or go back if things get better or immigrate outside the country,” he wrote.

He shared the story of one family of Christians displaced from Mosul. “This family consists of Mr. Yousif, his wife Shmouni and two daughters, one used to work at the University and the other at a bank. Mr. Yousif used to serve at the church for more than 30 years.

“When we visited the family they were crying, the father was saying that he wished to die before leaving his church. The mother was crying for their life savings and the hard work of their daughters. The family left their house in Mosul due to the deteriorating security conditions after receiving many threats through the mosque’s loudspeakers to leave Mosul within 12 hours or to be killed; convert to Islam or pay the Jizya (a tax levied non-Muslims in an Islamic state).

This forced them to head to Bartilla for they have some relatives there. On their way to Bartilla, they were looted of every possession they were carrying, money, jewelry, ID cards and passports. They live now in Bartilla having no intention to go back to Mosul at all especially after losing their house which was taken over by the Islamic State in Iraq and Sham (ISIS) writing the Arabic letter (ن). The family depends now on the received aid.”

The staff and volunteers of Caritas, as well as others in the area, continue visiting the families, following up their conditions, and supporting the displaced families by providing emergency aid (food and health items) and providing the necessary facilities, while trying to alleviate the trauma and help displaced people identify their immediate priorities.

Nissan provided the following table which shows the areas of the displaced people, their numbers and the number of the beneficiaries from the programs of Caritas Iraq, since the start of crisis in June, noting that these beneficiaries are from different religions and there are more displaced families in other areas.



Number of beneficiary families

Nineveh plain









Caritas Iraq is getting ready currently to implement the second stage by targeting other displaced families after studying the current conditions, the priorities and identifying the priorities, Nissan added.

To read Bishop Murphy’s recent

blog on helping the people of Iraq, click here.



Contributions can be sent to the Diocese at 50 North Park Avenue, Rockville Centre, 11570,  marked Iraq/Syria relief.