For the past several months, people have been watching the dramatic events unfolding in Iraq and have been genuinely devastated by the scale of suffering, which has been imposed upon the people, by the self-proclaimed Islamic State.
Many people have also been alarmed, by the fact, that elements from within US, UK and other European societies, have been directly responsible in creating the pain, which the Iraqi people are now experiencing.
Unlike the populations of most major Western societies, including for returning Jihadists from ISIS, the people of Iraq don’t have a welfare state, social housing or a free health care system in place, to cushion the blow of displacement.
For the Iraqi people, their needs are being met by an international community, who is struggling to cope among a global economic downturn, concerns that funding or aid does not fall into the hands of terrorists, and concern for the welfare of others, in regions being affected by crisis like Ebola.
What seems like the enormous task of helping ordinary people in countries like Iraq, is made easier knowing that there are a host of organisations, currently on the ground and providing support, who each have a long and consistent work record inside of the country.
People at home in the UK, Europe and the USA can all get involved with helping to save the lives of millions, by supporting charities like the AMAR Foundation, The UNHCR, and the Red Cross, whose efforts can each be followed through their websites, the Charity Commission and also through social media.
While Government help is essential, public support is equally as valuable to international aid efforts but it’s always important to know that financial donations and fundraising efforts are going to those bodies, where there is accountability and trust.
It’s important that people get to see what they are donating too and where exactly that money is going, and unlike some of the pop-up charities, which emerge out of any major crisis, being able to check on a charities working background, is essential before committing either time or money.
by Hussein Al-alak, chair of the Iraq Solidarity Campaign and editor of Iraq Solidarity News (Al-Thawra)