Damian Lewis, the English actor/producer familiar to American audiences for roles ranging from Henry VIII to a turncoat U.S. Marine, is lending his support to the ShelterBox international relief agency headquartered in his home country.
The star of “Homeland,” “Wolf Hall,” “Band of Brothers” and many other series and films has made a plea on behalf of the estimated one million people trapped in war-torn Mosul, Iraq. He has endorsed the efforts of ShelterBox as it prepares to help families displaced by the ongoing warfare there.
“They are the people who were not able to escape before Islamic State took hold,” Lewis said. “They are the very young, the very old and the families who were not able to leave due to illness and poverty. They have suffered atrocities we can only imagine. We cannot fail these families.”
The tents and shelter kits are in place, the distribution partnerships arranged, and aid workers in Iraq are on standby for a displacement from Mosul on a massive scale. The battle to retake Mosul from ISIS terrorists already has forced more than 60,000 people to flee, but a predicted 200,000 to one million soon may follow, creating unprecedented humanitarian need.
ShelterBox has been making preparations in the region for several months now. Lightweight tents and portable shelter kits are stored near anticipated points of distribution, where escaping families will be screened and registered by Iraqi authorities. Some will go to existing displacement camps, some to shelters in former schools and churches. The greatest fear is for those who will be forced into the open desert or up into the mountains as the bitter winter approaches.
“The city of Mosul has been under Islamic State rule for two years. The military offensive to retake Mosul is under way and is predicted to force more than one million people to flee the city,” Lewis said. “To help the displaced families of Mosul ShelterBox urgently needs more than $2 million (US) worth of aid. Please give what you can via http://www.shelterbox.org.”