Rutba, Tal Qassab, Qaim…to most of us, they’re just hard-to-pronounce places we’ve never heard of, but to many here in Iraq, these words are sweet on the tongue…they’re home.

Many aid organizations and media outlets began packing up and leaving after ISIS was driven out of Mosul. Interest in Iraq is declining, but you press on because tens of thousands of families aren’t home.

They aren’t home if they’re jobless.

They aren’t home if they’re still in a camp.

They aren’t home if they don’t have walls or windows.

They aren’t home if their kids are trying to sleep on empty stomachs.

On a recent trip to the Syria-Iraq border, you sent food for thousands of people who are just trying to be home again. They’re rebuilding houses and starting business and schools, but they need food to help hold them over, and you provided food for thousands.

This is some of the last emergency aid we’ll deliver to this area. Across Iraq, we are transitioning away from emergency relief into more sustainable work that will help people go home and rebuild. Whether it’s providing empowerment grants to help people start businesses, helping kids get back to school, creating education and training opportunities for adults, or making sure families have access to medical care, you’ve been there for displaced families all across Iraq… and we know you’ll continue to be there for them as they journey home.

Thank you for serving these families, for believing home is possible, and for giving so generously to make it a reality.

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