Displaced Christians in Iraq just months from running out of aid

The number of Christians still living in Iraq is now thought to be as low as 200,000.Reuters

Christians in Iraq are faced with running out of the supplies that are keeping them alive, the aid co-ordinator for the Catholic archdiocese of Erbil told World Watch Monitor.

As recently as 2003 there were as many as 1.5 million Christians in Iraq. But now there are around 200,000 and even they could be forced to leave with fears supplies of food, clothing and other aid could run out within six months. 

Spokesman Stephen Rasche said could disappear entirely from Iraq within 12 months.

It is vital that the international community view them as 'a threatened people on the verge of extinction, the victims of horrific genocide,' he told World Watch Monitor. 'If we can't hold this community together over the next six to 12 months, it will all be for nought.'

A few Christians might remain, but in a custodian capacity alone, caring for ancient churches.

He cited one clinic run by his archdiocese that is looking after 100,000 non-Muslim displaced Iraqis, mainly Christian, and has just 45 days medicine left.

A clinic run by the archdiocese, which lies in the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan and is caring for almost 100,000 Iraqi non-Muslims who fled Islamic State jihadists in 2014, has only 45 days' medicine left, he said.

Aid has been given by charities such as Aid to the Church in Need, Open Doors, the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East, the Knights of Columbus and Caritas organisations.

Rasche, from the United States, was talking to journalists in London after last Wednesday's terror attack.

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