‘Before ISIS came to our village, life was good. I had two houses and I lived the life of a king. But then suddenly everything changed.’
This is what 52-year-old father Ameer* and his family faced when ISIS took over parts of Iraq in 2014.
Today around 1.8 million people are displaced within Iraq, while around 250,000 have left and are now refugees in other countries. Many have been through unimaginable trauma.
‘We were forced to leave and set up home in another part of Mosul,’ says Ameer. ‘For three difficult years, we faced many challenges. They used to torture me terribly. I am now disabled because of the beatings.’
'Tearfund visited us and helped us. I am so thankful'
The smell of war
After the liberation of Mosul in July 2017, Ameer was able to return home with his family. But his house had been destroyed. ‘The village was empty. There was a smell of ammunition, a smell of war,’ he recalls.
Ameer’s and other families no longer had any basic services, such as electricity, water and shelter.
‘Tearfund visited us and helped us. I am so thankful to them because they helped the most needy people in the area and I am one of them. I received cash and decided to buy cement and sand. This means I can build two rooms, one for my daughter with her children and one for the rest of my family.’
Cash programming has been one of the most successful developments in humanitarian aid in recent years. It’s proven to be one of the most effective and dignifying ways of supporting those in need.
By giving cash, Tearfund and our partners are putting the decision-making into the hands of the beneficiaries themselves. Cash is given based on a person’s vulnerability. Charities such as Tearfund work closely together to ensure as many people are helped as possible, but also to ensure that there is no duplication.
Stories such as Ameer’s are an example of the positive impact cash programming can have. ‘Thank you for your humanitarian efforts and thanks everyone who donated for us,’ says Ameer. ‘I really benefited and my family are very happy with the assistance that we received from Tearfund.
‘Even though my house was destroyed, I always thank God for everything. My family was with me and were okay – even though we faced many difficulties.’
*Name changed to protect identity.