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Happening Now: The World’s Largest Ever Refugee Exodus



Seven-year old Ariya, photographed here with her mother and siblings, fled the outskirts of Mosul last week as Kurdish and Iraqi military forces advanced to retake that city from ISIS. Ariya joins the over 3.3 million Iraqis displaced by the conflict – not counting the innumerable Syrians. Where will Ariya find refuge? Anticipating mass exodus from Mosul, UNHCR pre-positioned new 5 camps to provide care for 60,000 IDPs – Internally Displaced Persons. UN personnel close to INMED report, “We are ensuring that people reaching camps are accommodated with sufficient shelter, water, sanitation, health and protection.”


But the compelling question is capacity. Desperate families daily arrive at Iraqi UNHCR camps by the hundreds, and Mosul has still yet to be penetrated by fighters. Once that occurs, aid workers expect the exodus to mushroom to thousands of families each day – as many a one million in a matter of weeks.


Please join in the INMED Humanitarian Health Conference on March 24-25, when Lawand Talal of UNHCR gives the opening address. In the meantime, Samaritans Purse is one of several quality relief organizations providing care for Mosul refugees just like Ariya. Your gift will be graciously received, as we all remember the ancient imperative of Leviticus 19:33-34 made to the once-enslaved Hebrews: “When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.”


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