On 16 March, our team in Halabja commemorated the 27th anniversary of the 1988 chemical attacks.
Highlighting the long-term effects of these attacks, our center in Halabja officially opened a department for children. They invited children of survivors who have been seeking treatment at our center.
Connecting the past with the present, they asked children and Peshmerga who died fighting ISIS terrorists to participate. More than 80 kids and their families attended the event. Activities included a short pedagogical program, followed by an introduction of our work.
On the occasion of the day, the Jiyan Foundation calls on the Iraqi government to provide victims with the much-needed medical and psychological care, financial assistance and rehabilitation they are entitled to.
Amidst the current refugee and IDP crisis in Iraq and the war against ISIS terrorists, old wounds of the Halabja people persist. Thousands of civilians were killed and many more irreparably injured when the Iraqi regime under Saddam Hussein dropped chemical bombs on Halabja city in 1988. Officially recognized as a genocidal massacre, the survivors lack adequate compensation as well as medical and psychological treatment.
"Those who were exposed to the toxic gas still suffer from skin problems, infections of the respiratory system, tumors and chronic pain", says Salah Ahmad, founder and president of the Jiyan Foundation. "They of course need medical care but we should never underestimate their psychological distress. These people have witnessed horrific scenes of death and lost family members and friends. They have the right to an official recognition of their sufferings."