Mowery, Raihl join Salvation Army Iraq relief team
MAJOR MIKE OLSEN surveys a shipment of cooking fuel ready for distribution to homes.
Phoenix, AZ—Lt. Colonel Jan Mowery, Southwest divisional women’s ministries secretary and Major William Raihl, Clark County coordinator, have departed for Iraq, where they will serve as members of a team of 10 Salvation Army officers (three from the United States) working in conjunction with the World Food Program to distribute staples to the residents of Iraq.
They will serve there for 10 weeks, and will be joined by Western officer Captain Adam Morales on May 26.
Mowery and Raihl’s team will work with the World Food Program to provide monitoring, facilitation and coordination at eight large food warehouse complexes in Southern Iraq—areas South of Baghdad, from Saudi Arabia to Iran. Salvation Army personnel will serve as coordinators and facilitators in the process to receive, store and account for the food products that will be distributed to Iraqi families.
Mowery will be stationed in the city of Basra, and Raihl will be stationed in Kuwait City. They will travel throughout the country on a regular basis to provide counseling and support to Salvation Army teams located throughout the country, and they will work with the World Food Program to distribute food to starving Iraqi citizens.
They will return to the United States in late July when a second 10-person team will take over. Currently, the most urgent need in southern Iraq is food and, in response to this, the Army is to work with the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) to support the distribution of food stocks in the area.
“There is an urgent need to recommence the food distribution program that was operational prior to the conflict, as virtually the whole Iraqi population was dependent on food aid supplied through the ‘Oil for Food’ program,” said Major Cedric Hills, Salvation Army emergency services coordinator. “The system has ceased and there is need to restart the food aid as families are now suffering. We will be working very closely with the WFP on this to help make sure the aid gets to them safely and efficiently.”
The Army has already been delivering cooking fuel into parts of southern Iraq from Umm Qasr, to areas where families had resorted to cutting down the few remaining trees to make firewood.