Samaritan's Purse is treating the injured and providing relief to those displaced by conflict
Samaritan’s Purse is caring for critically injured children and adults at our Emergency Field Hospital on the Plains of Nineveh in Iraq. Our hospital is treating patients injured by gunfire, land mines, mortar rounds, car bombings, and improvised explosives as the conflict between coalition/Iraqi Security Forces and ISIS terrorists continues in western Mosul. To date, our revolving medical team comprised of nationals and over 460 expatriates has treated more than 3,000 patients, many of whom are women and children. Nearly 1,500 major surgeries have been performed since the hospital's opening in early January and the staff is currently averaging seven to ten of them per day.
Equipped with an emergency room, two operating rooms, more than 50 beds, and dozens of staff, our facility provides immediate medical care and surgical aid for patients who otherwise may lose their lives before they can reach the nearest established medical center in Erbil, one to two hours away. Our hospital is the closest trauma center to frontline fighting and is operated in partnership with the Iraqi Ministry of Health.
The hospital arrived in Iraq on Christmas Day 2016 via chartered 747 from Greensboro, North Carolina. The plane also brought 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. To date, over 8,000 metric tons of food, over 11,000 shelter tarps, over 1,800 cook stoves, nearly 33,000 blankets, and over 10,000 hygiene kits have been distributed.
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.
Since October 2016, when the Iraqi army and coalition forces began this offensive against ISIS, more than 160,000 people have been displaced, about half of whom are children.
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 have distributed food to thousands of families in six evacuee camps. These 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. We have also distributed cook stoves to give the displaced a means to turn their staples into meals as well as jerry cans for 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 8,000 metric tons of food to over 15,000 households so far in this response.
In addition to food items, we have 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 now free of ISIS control. We are helping these families in various ways as well.
Our current response builds on nearly a decade of continuous work in northern Iraq. Children's programs, medical care, 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 to be a beacon of hope to the hurting and that the families of each person treated will experience God’s love. Pray also for our continuing efforts to provide relief—food, clean water, clothing, and more—to many tens of thousands of adults and children.