As the security situation in Iraq and Kurdistan continues to deteriorate, and teachers and unions increasingly become targets of Islamic State forces, Education International has reached into its solidarity fund to support its members under siege.
Education International’s (EI) General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen has promised $10,000 USD each to the Iraqi Teacher Union (ITU) and Kurdistan Teachers Union (KTU) to assist teachers, their families and students who have been victims of the growing conflict. Funds provided to the ITU will be distributed in the provinces of Salaheen, Neeneveh and Anbar.
The financial commitment comes in response to official requests for assistance by the Presidents of both unions, as hundreds of teachers and students have been displaced by the violence.
The funds will assist union branches in selected areas to provide members with shelter, food and medical treatment, or to purchase school supplies that will allow education to resume.
The ITU has also received support from the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) with a gesture of solidarity from its members following the death of ITU Vice President Hussein Darwish on the 5th of June, when he was killed in an attack while on his way to work.