36 year old Monir ran a small family-owned cafeteria business in Bartella, where he had a simple wish to earn an honest living in order to provide for his wife and two daughters. When #ISIS attacked his home in Ninewa Plains in 2014, Monir’s life turned upside down: “In one night, everything changed,” he recalled. He quickly packed a few belongings and fled with his family to Erbil in the middle of the night. Upon arriving in Erbil, Monir received help from the Church, which distributed food baskets, clothing, and other basic services. Though grateful, it was not enough to meet his family’s needs. After a traumatic year-long trip through Greece and Turkey in search of a better life, Monir and his family returned to Erbil where he managed to find work in hotels, but his salary was not enough to cover rent and the basic necessities of his family.
In 2019, Monir learned about a USAID-funded project with the Chaldean Archdiocese of Erbil providing monthly cash assistance to assist displaced people like himself. Monir received his first cash assistance in December 2019, right before Christmas. With the financial aid provided by USAID, Monir was able to put food on the table and buy his children new clothes and a Christmas tree. “We minorities are forgotten by everyone,” says Monir, “This assistance came at the right time to spread joy and happiness in my small family.”