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Q&A from Iraq: A Firsthand Account

20140819-Iraq-In-Pictures-Main-4The American Red Cross is in northern Iraq providing relief to people seeking refuge from violence that has forced more than 650,000 people to flee to the Kurdistan region in recent months.

In addition to a $50,000 contribution to provide humanitarian assistance to displaced families, the American Red Cross has deployed disaster specialist Stacy Ragan to support in assessment, coordination, information management and reporting—essential assistance for an emergency of this scale, which can overwhelm local Red Crescent branches.

Ragan, manager of the American Red Cross International Response Operation Center, describes her experience in an interview from Dohuk for redcross.org. Here’s an excerpt:

Have you met anyone in particular whose story touched you or who was affected by the Red Cross’s work?

The very first person I met was a newborn girl who was just 12-days old. She was five days old when the violence started and her family had to flee Sinjar. She did not have a name yet because they had been on the run for a week before finding safe shelter in Dahuk. Her family was exhausted and traumatized from their experience. I was especially touched by her and her family.

Iraq QA

Get the rest of the inside scoop from the Q&A on redcross.org, and see a selection of Ragan’s photos here.