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The Iraq Crisis began in July 2014 with the taking of Iraqi cities, including Mosul, by the so called Islamic state (IS), forcing thousands of people to leave their homes and seek refuge in safer areas of the country.

The military operations led by the Iraqi government and supported by the Peshmerga and international forces resulted in further mass displacement. At the peak of the crisis more than 3 million people were internally displaced.

The crisis in Iraq has been further compounded by the conflict in Syria with hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees seeking safety in Iraq, with the majority having fled to the Kurdish region. There are currently 8.7 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, 2.6 million internally displaced and 247,379 registered Syrian refugees across Iraq.

Despite the end of major anti- IS military operations, a volatile security situation remains.

What we achieved

The programme has aimed to respond to immediate relief needs and in the final year has focused on supporting recovery and resilience of displaced and vulnerable populations.

This has included:

  • emergency food, NFIs (including winterisation assistance), cash/vouchers, WASH, health care
  • protection - including GBV case management
  • support to the longer-term displaced, with approaches and interventions that strengthen the ability of IDPs and refugees to recover, sustain, promote, and / or protect their livelihoods: cash for work, vocational training, small business start-up grants
  • social cohesion and peace-building initiatives
  • advocacy, (largely in the private sphere), seeking to influence stakeholders towards a peaceful resolution to the conflict, protection of civilians and an improved and coordinated humanitarian response.

Families we've reached with your support

Millions of families have fled the ongoing violence in Iraq. Read some of their stories below and find out how your donations are making a real difference.

Survivor stories


Sara Haqi Ismail fled the Diyala province, northern Iraq, with her two children in December 2014. 

She told us: 'Since I arrived here the host community have looked after me, I feel safer here, I am not scared that my children will get killed. I am getting food, but my future is a mystery.  I don’t know what is waiting for me.' 

With your donations, our partner REACH is providing desperately needed food, blankets, shelter, and hygiene kits to thousands of vulnerable families like Sara's living outside of camps in northern Iraq.

Sara Haqi Ismail talks to Ahmed a project manager with Christian Aid partner REACH.  Sara had just received food from REACH.
Laman and her children, who fled to northern Iraq to escape bombings in their home town of Aleppo, Syria
Survivor stories


Laman and her children fled to northern Iraq to escape bombings in their home town of Aleppo, Syria, three years ago. Dwindling savings and lack of job opportunities forced them to downgrade from a decent apartment to a windowless basement garage.

To help them build confidence and find a way to enjoy life, our partner REACH has provided networking programmes for women and children, such as sewing lessons for Laman and singing workshops for her children – a real lifeline for the family.

Her daughter Navene enjoyed the singing groups. She told us: ‘I made friends with everyone there. I love all of them!’ 

Survivor stories


Khatwn Mizra, her son and daughter, were some of the thousands of Yazidis trapped on mount Sinjar in the summer of 2014. On the summit there was no shade, no water and no food. Her husband went looking for water and never returned. 

Our partner REACH is providing families like Khatwn's with desperately needed food, blankets, shelter, and hygiene kits.

She now lives in a community of displaced Yazidis renting disused buildings in Sulaymaniyah in northern Iraq.

A mother holds her son, sitting next to her daughter
How we work in an emergency

We're based in countries affected by disasters so we can be there before, during and after an emergency to save lives and support people long term.