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: Postlogue: The challenges and sweet reward of tea
I’ve been back from my field trip to Iraq for a few days now, and have been drinking a lot more black tea than usual. Not only that, but I’m drinking it with much more sugar than I ever have. I’m thinking of it as withdrawal from the super-sweet tea that I had while in the Middle East.
Iraq: Epilogue: What is peace?
Sometimes, along the way, the story changes. That’s what happened to me over the course of two weeks in northern Iraq.
Iraq: A soft spot in a tough place
Kirkuk, Iraq is a hard place — but, in the middle of it all, there’s a soft spot for children.
Iraq: VIDEO: "Sadness has become my food and my clothes"
Over the course of the week and a half I've been in northern Iraq so far, I've seen — and heard — a lot about Kurdish culture. It's extremely hospitable, thoughtful and fiercely passionate.
Iraq: VIDEO: A song, laughter and clapping
A school isn't only a place of learning for a child, it's a place of security. It's a place to be among trusted friends and caring adults.
Iraq: Peaceful still life
A lifetime of conflict, displacement and uncertainty could make for some pretty dark art. A painter growing up during some of Iraq’s most violent years might find themselves replaying dismal and disturbing scenes with brushstrokes across canvas.
Iraq: Finding the story
I work with Awatif in southern Iraq, but we had to travel across the country to get to know one another.
Iraq: Youth under siege, but waging peace
Iraq: Life amidst the ruins
Iraq: Images from the Iraq Storytelling Workshop
Mercy Corps recently held a writing and photography workshop for 22 staffers from all over Iraq. On the second day of training, they had the chance to visit three villages around the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk to do interviews and take photographs.