The school’s waterpipe is broken? The children dream of a playgound? The roof of a community building is leaking? Sometimes, you wished to have direct and quick aid without red tape. Sometimes, you feel you could change a lot with limited means. The emergency response fund makes it possible to fullfill small basic needs and wishes without much delays.
Direct action can be very helpful in an emergency case which cannot be delayed. It can also arouse trust and confidence among people who have felt the world’s ignorance for a very long time. Like in the Balisan valley in Northern Iraq running along the Iranian border far away from the regional capital Suleymania. Many villages affected by poison gas attacks and the Anfal operation against the Kurdish population are located in such remote areas. Particularly, the mountainous border region next to Iran was once target of Iraqi bombardements. To this day, the Iraqi government as well as the Kurdish regional government are neglecting these regions. Basic infrastructure is still missing. There is an urgent need for comprehensive projects such as schools, hospitals, infrastructure etc. which would far exceed the possibilities of an emergency aid. However, small projects on the spot can have a direct effect, transmit hope and stimulate agency. This could be the power supply for a school, a library which young people have taken the initiative for, the repair of the hospital’s generator or a playground which the inhabitants wan to build themselves.
The Emergency Response Fund (ERF) project, supported by Green Cross, the Roselo-Foundation and Wadi, makes it possible. The ERF is implemented through a committee of five people who decide about the proposals submitted by the villages. This committee consists of members of CHAK (“Center of Halabja against Anfalization and Genocide of the Kurds”), Wadi and the mobile teams. Its decisions are based on needs and transparency. The committee is visiting various places and discussing needs with the local population. The decision is made then with regard to the urgency of the project and the will of the community to participate.