CCODP gets $1M from Ottawa for Iraq

September 8, 2014

OTTAWA – The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP) is receiving $1 million in federal government money to help in its work with displaced Iraqis.

"That means we'll be able to support all the families in Iraq that currently need help," said CCODP's deputy director of in-Canada programs Ryan Worms.

"It also means we will be able to work closely with our partners on the ground, such as Caritas Iraq and Catholic Relief Services."

Worms said he was happy the Canadian government recognized CCODP's ability to work on the ground with and through its partner organizations.

Not many aid organizations are as well-placed to give assistance to families in need, he said.

The Caritas partners will help provide displaced families inside Iraq with food, drinking water, shelter and household necessities. CCODP will also provide $50,000 to Caritas Turkey to aid refugees there, he said.

The grant to CCODP, announced Aug. 29, is coming from the department of foreign affairs, trade and development.

The same day, International Development Minister Christian Paradis announced the deployment of a new emergency stockpile located in the United Arab Emirates to help Iraqis.

"Canada remains very concerned by the escalating humanitarian and security situation in Iraq, where violence has displaced 1.3 million people, with countless more under threat," said Paradis.

"Canada continues to condemn the terrorist actions of ISIL, and the killing of civilians in northern Iraq, in the strongest possible terms.

"Particularly concerning is the ongoing, targeted persecution of religious minorities, which only inflames sectarian tensions among Iraqis."

Paradis said Canada has committed more than $21 million to humanitarian relief in Iraq so far this year.

Canada is also providing military supplies to Iraqi security forces to contain ISIL's "murderous rampage," he said.

"Left unchecked, ISIL is a threat not only to peace and security in the region but to global security as well," he said. "Canada, in coordination with allies, will continue to support the people and government of Iraq in their fight against terrorism.

Worms said Canadians can help further with aid to persecuted Iraqis by donating to CCODP, Aid to the Church in Need Canada or CNEWA Canada.

"I want to encourage the public to give to the Catholic organizations, because they will make sure help will reach the ones in need," he said.