In the past month, eight in 10 Iraqis have helped someone they don’t know, making them the people most likely to help a stranger.
These findings were announced in the CAF World Giving Index 2016 overnight, and come as the offensive against ISIS in Mosul continues and civilians flee the fighting.
The annual CAF World Giving Index measures the average percentage of people in each country who donate money, volunteer or help a stranger.
Oxfam Australia’s Humanitarian Manager Meg Quartermaine said more than 5,000 people had so far fled the fighting around Mosul and most were now staying in host communities close to Qayyarah, south of the city.
“Before the offensive to retake Mosul started a week ago, military operations along the Mosul Corridor had already displaced almost 150,000 people since March, and these numbers could swell to over a million as the battle for Iraq’s second biggest city continues,” Ms Quartermaine said.
“Many displaced people are taking shelter in nearby villages, and although this generosity is heartwarming, host communities will need assistance to ease the burden.
“Oxfam has been working in 50 villages and towns in northern Iraq since 2014, providing safe water in host communities and camps, and helping people earn a living so that they can support their families.”
Oxfam is scaling up its existing operations in the area known as the Mosul Corridor, including Qayyarah, to provide civilians who flee the fighting with clean drinking water, toilets, blankets and other vital aid.
Some concerning stories are emerging of the conditions families are facing as they flee.
“People escaping the village of Hawd, 50km south of Mosul, told Oxfam that their children were hungry and thirsty from the journey, and that they were suffering from breathing difficulties because of the thick black smoke from burning oil wells nearby,” Ms Quartermaine said.
ISIS is setting fire to the oil wells in an apparent effort to provide cover from coalition airstrikes.
Across the country, more than 10 million Iraqis – half of them children – are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 3.3 million people have been displaced by conflict across the country.
Donations to support Oxfam’s emergency responses around the world can be made online.
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Notes to editors:
In regards to the CAF World Giving Index 2016, when charitable donations, time volunteered and proportion of people who have helped a stranger are all taken into account, the overall most generous people were found to be Myanmar’s residents. Americans were found to be second most generous, with Australians third. For more information see: https://www.cafonline.org/about-us/publications/2016-publications/caf-world-giving-index-2016