Fighting Over in Mosul, Samaritan's Purse Keeps Serving
Northern Iraq Projects - 013929

Northern Iraq Remains in Critical Need

We handed over our Emergency Field Hospital to the Iraqi Ministry of Health, but we continue to serve the displaced.

For almost nine months, Samaritan’s Purse cared for critically injured children and adults at our Emergency Field Hospital on the Plains of Nineveh in Iraq. Our hospital treated patients in desperate need, including those hurt by gunfire, land mines, mortar rounds, car bombings, and improvised explosives. Our revolving medical team of expatriates and nationals treated nearly 4,200 patients, many of whom were women and children. More than 1,700 surgeries were performed since the hospital’s opening in early January—an average of seven per day. In total, more than 450 Samaritan’s Purse staff served at the hospital.

On September 28, 2017, we officially handed over the hospital to the Iraqi Ministry of Health, a partner in this project since its inception.

Equipped with an emergency room, two operating rooms, and more than 50 beds, the facility provided immediate medical care and surgical aid for patients who otherwise may have lost their lives before reaching the nearest established medical center in Erbil, one to two hours away. The hospital was the closest trauma center to frontline fighting—and remained strategically located to help those displaced by ISIS afterward.

Medical personnel are caring for patients with severe injuries at our field hospital.

Our hospital staff treated nearly 4,200 patients.

The hospital arrived in Iraq on Christmas Day via chartered 747 from Greensboro, North Carolina. The plane also brought 5,000 hygiene kits; 5,000 cooking kits (including cooking pots and serving utensils); and 400 rolls of shelter plastic to aid those who have fled from the fighting.

On July 9, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over ISIS and the end of the terrorist organization's occupation of Mosul, which began in June 2014. The battle for western Mosul, particularly the Old City, was brutal and took a devastating toll in lives and property damage. Much of the area lies in ruins. Iraqi forces secured the eastern half of Mosul in January.

Starting October 2016, when the Iraqi army and coalition forces started its offensive against ISIS in Mosul, more than 845,000 people have been displaced, about half of whom are children. Many civilians were shot trying to flee the fighting. ISIS also resorted to using chemical weapons in their attempt to hold ground. The Emergency Field Hospital treated patients affected by these attacks.

Samaritan’s Purse continues to provide physical and spiritual relief to the people of northern Iraq in other ways as well. In partnership with the World Food Programme, we are distributing food to thousands of families in multiple evacuee camps. Monthly rations of salt, sugar, cooking oil, chickpeas, rice, flour, and beans provide much needed sustenance to those who have left nearly everything to flee for their lives. In addition, we distributed hundreds of cook stoves to give the displaced a means to turn their staples into meals as well as thousands of jerrycans to transport their stove fuel. Food has also been provided to those returning to villages affected by the past two years of conflict. Samaritan's Purse has distributed more than 12,000 metric tons of food to over 45,000 households so far in this response.

In addition, we provide water, sanitation, and hygiene services in several camps and transit stations for the displaced. We also offer nutritional services to these families as well. During the course of one week, our team made 1,000 home visits to address health needs and screened more than 700 children for malnutrition. More than 31,000 kids have received such screening in total with more than 2,200 being treated for acute malnutrition. Over 14,000 women have received skilled breastfeeding support since our nutritional programming began in October 2016.

We have also given out medicine, clothing, shoes, and blankets to those recently displaced from Mosul and surrounding areas. Some who were displaced in 2014 when ISIS first invaded the region are now returning to villages freed from ISIS control. We are helping these families in various ways as well.

Monthly food rations are critical for displaced families.

Iraqi children receiving food.

Our current response builds on nearly a decade of continuous work in northern Iraq. Children's programs, cuidados médicos, and other projects for those displaced by ISIS have hallmarked our efforts to provide relief in Jesus’ Name. Our Christian presence is welcomed in Iraq as an agent of peace between conflicting Shi’a and Sunni Muslims.

Please pray for our trauma hospital, now led by the Iraqi Ministry of Health, to be a beacon of hope to the hurting. Pray also for our continuing efforts to provide relief—food, clean water, clothing, and more—to many tens of thousands of adults and children.