When ISIS militants invaded Iraq earlier this summer, the whole world was taken by surprise. No government or big aid agency was prepared for the crisis. But because of you, we were able to respond immediately. Thanks to our on-the-ground partners who are able to reach Iraqi communities other organizations cannot, we were able to send emergency aid, including food, water and medical care to women and children most in need.
For example, the UN and other large relief groups have not been able to get aid into the town of Samarra, currently surrounded by ISIS forces. But just last month with your support and through the local connections of our partners at the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq (OWFI), we were able to deliver food packages and other aid to 120 families there.
And that's not all you're helping us do. As deadly violence against women by ISIS intensifies, we've continued to expand our secret shelter services. Your support enabled us to open the only women's shelter in ISIS-controlled northern Iraq, offering vital emergency refuge to women escaping rape, kidnapping and forced marriage.
Thank you. Your support truly strengthens our sisters in Iraq who are working around the clock to respond to this urgent crisis.