Support the needs of internally-displaced Iraqis and Syrians who have sought refuge in more stable regions of the country. Strengthen civil society and local government capacity, and provide the building blocks for a safe and thriving democracy, including education, basic services and human rights. Engage youth who have been exposed to years of trauma in activities that support their wellbeing and sense of community.
The road to a new Iraq is fraught with challenges and citizens struggle to survive against a backdrop of political dysfunction, infighting, extremism and potential of civil war. Hundreds of thousands have fled the most violent areas and are seeking safety elsewhere. The ongoing conflict in neighboring Syria continues to drive Syrian refugees across the border into camps and urban settlements.
The country's precarious development is stressed by the needs of these new residents. Basic services have been disrupted, and water is in short supply. Large communities of internally-displaced families already lack water, shelter and proper hygiene facilities, and many are struggling to build peaceful relationships and make lives in their new communities.
- Emergency response: Distributing emergency aid packages to recently-displaced communities, and providing ongoing support to Syrian refugees.
- Children & Youth: Creating safe spaces for conflict-affected Syrian and Iraqi children living in northern Iraq.
- Education: Teaching children sports education, emphasizing leadership, identity, and community building, in partnership with the Baghdad Ministry of Education.
- Conflict & Governance: Encouraging reconciliation and good governance by providing capacity-building training and empowering local leaders to resolve disputes and reform policies.
All stories about Iraq
Iraq: Addressing water deficiency concerns in Iraq
For years, suffering and tiredness was Amina's lifestyle. In 1994, she and her family were forcibly moved away from their ancestral village of Kuna-Kamtar by the Iraqi army. She was displaced until 2003, when the old Iraqi regime collapsed and her family was able to return home.
Iraq: Closing the gap: Gender-equitable access to education
Iraq: 'Nothing equals education'
Forty-four-year-old Kareem Kateh has been a farmer in southern Iraq his entire life. He didn’t have many other options: the nearest school was too far away to complete his primary school education. Still he made a good living, and was able to buy a large plot of land for his family.
Iraq: Arazu's dream
One of the participants in the Mercy Corps Iraq-sponsored Creating Murals For Kalar Kindergarten project — in which art students paint murals on local school walls — is 22-year-old Arazu Hassan Salih.
Iraq: Literacy class graduation in Basra
Graduates of Mercy Corps' literacy program in Basra, Iraq, proudly holding their certificates.
Iraq: Two Iraqi women, determined to succeed
Before I started working with Mercy Corps' Women’s Awareness and Inclusion (WAI) program, I was working with another non-governmental organization on land mine awareness and education.
Iraq: "Disability does not stand between a man and his aspirations"
"Disability does not stand as obstacle between a man and his aspirations. The real disability is the disability of will and determination," 21-year-old Hassan told me.
Iraq: Remembering the importance of "community" in community development
Mercy Corps has been in Iraq’s four southernmost provinces — Basra, Maysan, Muthanna and Thi Qar — since 2003, implementing the USAID-funded Community Action Program.
Iraq: That's no way to say goodbye
As unrest throughout North Africa and the Middle East dominates the headlines and underlines the problems of lack of democracy, civic participation and unemployment, it’s a surprising time for the United Kingdom (UK) to be ending development assistance to Iraq.
Iraq: Reclaiming a place for Iraqi youth
For many years, there was a very bad place in the middle of Kalar, Iraq. It had no name, but all kinds of malice and misfortune spread from it, spilling into the surrounding neighborhoods.