On Tuesday I wrote to you about our work to end the conflict in Iraq through peacebuilding. Today I want to tell you about how we’re responding to what the war has created: the worst humanitarian catastrophe in the Middle East since 1948. Beginning in November, we intensified our public outreach and pressure on Washington to address Iraq’s displacement crisis.
Consider the impact we’re having thanks to your help:
- November: EPIC brings national attention to Iraq’s displacement crisis, including primetime television coverage of the deteriorating conditions generating the crisis. EPIC Director and Iraqi colleagues appear on PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.
- December: EPIC partners with Refugees International and intensifies communications to raise public awareness about “the world’s fastest growing refugee crisis.”
- January 9: We release our Ground Truth interview with refugee advocate Sean Garcia who reports “no relief in sight” for Iraqi refugees and host nations. EPIC members flood the White House with letters, emails and faxes urging President Bush to help Iraqi refugees.
- January 16: The Senate holds hearing on the plight of Iraqi refugees, taking the first step in recognizing the magnitude of the crisis. Within weeks, the New York Times and Washington Post run editorials.
- January 23: On the day of the President’s State of the Union address, EPIC members send more than 650 emails to the White House urging President Bush to end his silence about the plight of Iraqi refugees.
- January 26: We release our Ground Truth interview with Khaldoon Ali, president of Mercy Hands, an Iraqi NGO delivering relief to Iraqi families displaced by violence and helping those most in need.
- February 14: The U.S. pledges $18 million to the UN Refugee Agency and says it will consider 7,000 applications of Iraqis seeking asylum -- a small, yet welcome step in the right direction.
- March 6: 43 national groups join EPIC in urging Congress to close the $290 million gap in assistance for displaced Iraqis. EPIC members urge their Senators to support more humanitarian aid, not war.
- March 26: The Senate approves emergency spending bill for 2007. Senate goes much further than House to fund assistance for Iraqi refugees and war victims.
- May 25: After lengthy negotiations, President Bush signs into law an emergency spending bill that includes $85 million above his initial request for refugee and IDP assistance.
Please make a secure online donation right now and help us reach our goal of $15,000. Your tax-deductible donation will strengthen EPIC as we work to generate lifesaving humanitarian relief and protection for the people of Iraq.