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Sallies Secure US$1.1m UN funding for Iraq

Salvation Army secures US$1.1m UN funding for Iraq initiatives

The Salvation Army has secured US$1.1 million in United Nations funding for a programme that is helping Iraqi refugees resettle in their own country.

The eight month programme, centred around the south-eastern Iraqi town of Al Amarah, will assist an estimated 10,000 families. Specific projects will include constructing or renovating schools, health clinics and youth centres; rehabilitating water pumping stations, providing shelter for returning families; and offering vocational training.

The programme is a partnership between The Salvation Army and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which is providing US$1.1m in funding.

New Zealander Captain Bruce Coffey, who leads The Salvation Army relief team in Iraq, said that the programme will help resettle displaced Iraqis, many of whom had left their homelands to flee persecution.

‘The programme will provide many basic services that we so often take for granted,’ said Captain Coffey. ‘Projects will help returning Iraqis by providing accommodation, access to drinking water and the chance to receive an education in a building that has desks, windows and a concrete floor.’

‘We are grateful to UNHCR for allowing us the opportunity to help this group of disadvantaged people achieve some level of normality in their lives,’ said Captain Coffey.

Captain Bruce Coffey, along with fellow New Zealander Captain Pauline Coffey, are based in Kuwait, from where they oversee The Salvation Army’s relief efforts in Iraq. Their current six-month tour of duty, which began in April, has been extended until the end of January 2005.

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