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Catholic World News

Aid groups rush to repair Iraqi Christian homes in Nineveh Plains before school opens

August 10, 2017

Christian families and relief agencies are rushing to rebuild homes in Iraq’s Nineveh Valley region, to allow families to return in time for the opening of the school year.

In the town of Qaraqosh, for example, 5,000 Catholic families fled to escape the offensive of the Islamic State in 2014. Only about 600 of those families have been able to return.

Led by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), humanitarian groups have helped to repair churches and school buildings in Qaraqosh. But family homes remain in rubble. Father George Jahola tells ACN that families are willing to return, but “if their homes are not ready for families to move back in by September and the start of the school year, many of the Christians might well decide to go elsewhere—this time leaving Iraq for good.”

About 13,000 homes in the Nineveh Plains region need major repairs or complete rehabilitation in the aftermath of the Islamic State destruction. For now, about 90,000 Christians are living in camps in Kurdistan, still hoping to return to their native villages.

 
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