Described by some as biggest humanitarian crisis in history, over 1.8 million refugees in Iraq and are without shelters as winter settles in. Crisis Response International, a Nashville-based ministry, is responding by sending shelter homes, but urges for more help from the global Christian communities.
"Today, the need in Iraq is massive. 1.8 million men, women and children are homeless and destitute. These people have nowhere to live and the winter months are setting in," said Sean Malone, Director of CRI, a ministry that has been in Iraq since last December.
While providing humanitarian relief, CRI sees this as an opportunity to spread the love of God to hurting and homeless refugees. The non-profit Christian ministry trains and equips believers in disaster preparedness and response nationwide while mobilizing teams to respond to international disasters.
According to UNHCR Global Appeal 2015 Update, the number of refugees and asylum-seekers, who are mostly Syrian, Palestinian, Iranian and Turkish origin, exceeded one million before the new upsurge in violence in 2014, resulting in doubled the origin figure.
CRI has been in Iraq for over a year with teams going in and out of the area providing food, water, medical aid, but it reports that millions remain on the streets, tents or mountains with no shelter.
"This is an opportunity to transition our response into rebuilding stage and help stabilize families and provide a safe place to sleep and rest," said Malone.
Addressing the desperation of the crisis, Malone and CRI have announced an initiative to send shelter homes to Iraq.
"For $1,500 a unit, we can ship a shelter home to Iraq. Each will also be equipped with 100 watts of solar power. The Kurdish government is giving CRI use of some property on which to place these temporary homes! Our intent is to build community, provide discipleship, and help refugees gain a sense of dignity as they restart their lives," explained Malone who got his start in disaster response after the 9-11 attacks in New York City.
Churches, ministries and partners are responding and partnering with CRI, but the work is far from over.
"You can be part of the solution and show a practical demonstration of God's love. Give today and provide a shelter home for a refugee family in Iraq," said Malone. "Your compassionate gift today will provide hurting and hopeless refugees with shelter this winter in Iraq. Help us get our brothers and sisters off the cold, harsh streets and into safe shelter, today."
For any gift of $25 or more, CRI will use funds to purchase and ship emergency shelter homes right to Iraq. The ministry has teams on the ground right now to provide safe shelter immediately. Donations can be made at CRI's website.