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Iraq: the forgotten crisis

While media attention is focused on  the plight of refugees struggling to cross Europe’s troubled borders, Johanna Rogers reminds us that many, many more people are also displaced in Iraq.

Sorley McCaughey

Children playing in the Dawodiya Camp in Dohuk, northern Iraq. The camp shelters Christian and Yazidi families displaced by ISIS. Photo credit: Christian Aid/Giles Fraser

Against the background of continued fighting and a depressed economy, the Kurdish region of Iraq is home to more than a million displaced Iraqis and a quarter of a million refugees from the conflict in Syria.

In total, 10 million Iraqis, almost a third of the total population, are in need of humanitarian aid, with more than 3 million of those in need located in areas which are impossible to reach as a result of intense fighting.

Ironically, the ranks of ‘those in need’ are now being swelled by Iraqis from communities hosting people displaced from elsewhere.

Christian Aid continues to support internally displaced Iraqis, Syrian refugees and vulnerable host community families through our partners across Iraqi Kurdistan and in federal Iraq.

Our long-term partner REACH is distributing food, blankets and shelter as well as providing cash assistance and cash for work, which helps the unemployed to provide for their families and allows them some control over their situation.

Our partner Asuda continues to work with women who have been affected by sexual and gender based violence, an often overlooked lifesaving response.

Christian Aid has recently expanded its support to Kirkuk, where there is a growing number of displaced people seeking refuge. In addition, we are now funding St Joseph’s Clinic in Erbil to provide life-saving medicines and medical equipment to the clinic, for the treatment of the displaced.


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