April 2013, Zanan Bchuk, near Chomchomal, northern Iraq Rojan Wahid, 15, takes a fish caught by her uncle Mllko (centre, back) so her mother can prepare it for lunch.  Zanan Bchuk’s peaceful atmosphere belies its turbulent history. In 1988 it was largely destroyed by bombs during the Ba’ath regime’s Anfal campaign. When the community returned, the destruction was so complete that they struggled to identify individual homes.

Christian Aid in Iraq

We have been helping Syrian refugees in Iraq since 2013 and meeting the needs of those internally displaced by ongoing conflict in the country. 

Christian Aid works with six long term partners throughout Iraq, which means we can respond as, when and where necessary. 

Our strategy in Iraq is to strengthen the resilience of particularly vulnerable, displaced people, refugees, and host communities, to enable them to cope with crises and live in peaceful coexistence. 

Our aims

  1. Improve livelihoods opportunities for vulnerable households, particularly youth and female-headed households. 
  2. Promote peaceful co-existence and relieve community tensions.
  3. Nurture and develop the capacities of young people and contribute to building cohesive communities.  
  4. Provide life-saving humanitarian relief for vulnerable groups.

In Iraq we work on...


We are supporting people by giving communities training, business skills, and cash transfers necessary to start up their own business to help them provide for their family and a secure future. 

Community cohesion

We are working to foster connections and initiate relationships between young people of different ethnic and religious communities including displaced people, refugees and host communities, whilst relieving the economic pressures contributing to community instability. 

Sexual and gender-based violence protection 

Gender based violence is a prevalent feature of the conflict.  We are supporting survivors of sexual and gender based violence, with access to counselling and legal services, as well as promoting the rights of women and girls. 

Emergency response

With increasing insecurity, violence and displacement, we are continuing to provide food, clothes, hygiene kits, health services and cash assistance to the most vulnerable populations. 

Please find more info on our Iraq Crisis Appeal here

A boy carries a Christian Aid bucket in Iraq

Where we work

Asuda in northern Iraq

Our partner Asuda works in northern Iraq with women at risk of violence, especially those threatened with ‘honour killing’ - in many cases saving their lives.

Asuda has also played a part in getting the law changed for stronger protection of women in northern Iraq against violence. In response to the influx of refugees from Syria, Asuda is working to prevent and respond to gender-based violence affecting refugees and host communities.  

REACH in northern Iraq

Our partner REACH works with communities across northern Iraq to help them engage with the local civil authorities to get their needs understood and provided for. These include ensuring that rural roads are built and renovated, or that supplies of livestock vaccinations are delivered to the farmers who need them rather than getting stockpiled in government storerooms.

REACH has also been responding to the Iraq and Syria crises by offering non-food items and training to newly arrived refugees, as well as psychosocial support for children and caregivers, vocational training and financial assistance to a targeted number of refugees. 

We are already providing humanitarian aid to those displaced from Mosul and our local partners in the region are ready to respond in a number of locations where people are expected to seek refuge.  

Kirkuk region of Iraq

Other partners based in Kirkuk provide vocational training in barbering and tailoring and training on setting up small businesses.

Another partner in Kirkuk is building social cohesion and livelihoods opportunities for young people by bringing together Sunnis, Shias, Christian, Kurds, Arabs, Turkmen, internally displaced people (IDPs), host communities, as well as community leaders, businessmen and local authority staff. It encourages participants to set up small and joint businesses.

Since I have arrived here the host community have looked after me, I feel safer here than before. I am not scared that my children will get killed. I am getting food, but my future is a mystery; I do not know what is waiting for me.

Sara, 26

Christian Aid partners provide desperately needed food, blankets, shelter, and hygiene kits to thousands of vulnerable families who have fled fighting throughout Iraq.

Sara Haqi Ismail talks to Ahmed a project manager with Christian Aid partner REACH.  Sara had just received food from REACH.

Key achievements

Humanitarian response

In the last two and half years, through our Iraq Crisis Appeal, we have reached more than 250,000 people, with food, clothes, hygiene kits, health services and cash assistance. 

Through a two-year UK aid-funded Conflict, Humanitarian, Security and Justice PPA programme we worked with 10 communities in Sulaymania, giving them a voice in the planning process to reduce the risk from disasters, including conflict and natural disasters, and implementing community based programmes to reduce the risks identified by the communities. 

Through the Disasters Emergency Committee, Syria Crisis Appeal 2013, we provided support to 6,526 Syrian refugees in Iraq, through the provision of cash assistance, hygiene kits, winter kits, health and first aid training, basic literacy and numeracy training, vocational skills training, and tools to start up a small business. 

Gender-based violence

More than 3,700 women have attended awareness raising sessions on gender-based violence and where they are told about counselling and legal support available to them. 

Irish Aid provided two years of funding, which supported 840 women who are survivors of sexual and gender based violence, to access counselling and legal services, as well as awareness raising sessions to promote the rights of women and girls.

Climate resilience

We have supported communities to keep their livelihoods safe by delivering awareness raising workshops on weather forecasting and climate change, introducing farmers to alternative, more efficient farming techniques, and training local authority employees on waste management and pollution.

Contact us

Christian Aid Iraq is based in London, United Kingdom. We have one consultant based in the region. Our team is comprised of individuals with significant programmatic, humanitarian, advocacy and policy expertise. We can also draw on the expertise of other teams across Christian Aid.