Their escape is rapid. It has to be. They take flight in minutes from the villages and towns that their forefathers have lived in for millennia.
More than 1.2 million people have fled their homes in Iraq in 2014 since an armed uprising by Sunni Muslim extremists calling themselves the Islamic State seized Mosul, Sinjar, Anbar and the Nineveh plains.
Many of those who have fled are from minorities faiths, such as Christians, Yazidis and Shia Muslims, who have been targeted by the extremists.
What belongings they managed to leave with are seized at checkpoints. When they arrive in Iraqi Kurd controlled Erbil and Dohuk, they have nothing.
“They are desperate,” said Nabil Nissan, the Executive Director of Caritas Iraq. “They have lost hope that the international community will act fast enough to end this humanitarian tragedy.”
Forced to live in churches or parks, in temperatures of 45°C, they need food, shelter, water, medical care and the basic necessities.
Caritas organisations are working through Caritas Iraq and local parishes to deliver aid to them in Erbil, Dohuk and Zakho, irrespective of their religious, ethnic or political background.
Caritas has provided food, water, bedding and essential living supplies, education support, trauma counselling and peacebuilding training.
Caritas Updates from Iraq