Helping Mothers in Iraq Cope with COVID-19

7th May 2020

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Samaritan’s Purse is delivering food and hygiene kits to mothers throughout the country, including to persecuted Christians in Qaraqosh.

Iraq—like many other countries—is fighting the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus by implementing a nationwide lockdown. With citizens now confined to their homes, unemployment is soaring, leaving parents unsure how they will feed their families. Samaritan’s Purse has identified those in the most critical need in Erbil, Sinjar, and the Nineveh Plains, so that we can deliver food and, in some cases, hygiene kits to these desperate communities. We are also providing COVID-19 prevention materials and information about stress management.

Miriana’s son (in blue) needs to visit his doctor in Erbil, but can’t because of the nationwide lockdown measures. The family is comforted by the assistance they received from Samaritan’s Purse.

Miriana’s son (in blue) needs to visit his doctor in Erbil, but can’t because of the nationwide lockdown measures. The family is comforted by the assistance they received from Samaritan’s Purse.

Miriana’s* husband used to operate a motorcycle repair shop in Qaraqosh, but when ISIS attacked in 2014, their family of five fled for their lives. They have since been able to return to their beloved city because a friend offered to let them stay in their home. Due to the pandemic, however, Miriana’s husband has no work and therefore, no income. In addition, she said, “My son’s lying in bed between life and death.” This 9-year-old is blind and has quadriplegia as well as a hole in his heart.

“He needs to visit his doctor in Erbil [which is an hour and a half away]—we can’t take him during this lockdown.”

Miriana received a food kit from Samaritan’s Purse containing rice, beans, pasta, fish, corned beef, cooking oil, and other staples to help ease her family’s financial burden during this difficult time.

“We felt so happy,” said Miriana of this gift. “I felt that Jesus Christ is still with us and didn’t leave us alone in this situation. I believe He sent you for us.”

Her hopes for her children are similar to those of other mothers around the world: “I ask God to save them. I hope they live a better life.” And in faith, she said, “I wish recovery for my [special needs child] in the power of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

An Answer to Prayer

Sandra (right) receives food and hygiene kits from Samaritan’s Purse staff.

Sandra (right) receives food and hygiene kits from Samaritan’s Purse staff.

Sandra* is also from Qaraqosh. Like Miriana’s family, she, too, ran for her life when ISIS invaded and as a result, lived displaced for a season before returning to her city. Now she and her husband and their 7-year-old and 1.5-year-old twins are faced with yet another challenge.

“We are living in a hard situation because of the pandemic and the curfew,” Sandra said. “We were not receiving any help from anywhere. My husband is jobless and we have no income.”

The family was delighted to receive food and a hygiene kit from Samaritan’s Purse. The hygiene kit contained diapers, soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes, cleaning supplies, hand sanitiser, and feminine products.

“I felt that God responded to my prayers,” Sandra said.

‘A Big Trust in God’

Enas and her children were grateful to receive relief supplies from Samaritan’s Purse.

Enas and her children were grateful to receive relief supplies from Samaritan’s Purse.

“We are without money during this lockdown,” said Enas*, a Christian from Qaraqosh with four children ranging in age from 6 to 15. Their situation is made worse because Enas has a heart condition and cannot travel to Erbil to see her doctor during this time.
She hopes her children will have a better life than she has. “I was so sick, but God looked after me and my kids. I have a big trust in God for a better future.”

She, too, received much-needed supplies from Samaritan’s Purse.

“I appreciate what you are doing for us. We really need it. Thank you so much.”

Please pray for mothers in Iraq like Miriana, Sandra, and Enas to endure the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ask God to bless and strengthen their families as well as the ongoing Samaritan’s Purse response in the country.

*Name changed for security reasons.

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