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: Iraqi women learn about democracy as elections approach
Living and working in Baghdad these days seems to be about waiting.
Iraq: Celebrating peace in Khanaqin
In Khanaqin, Iraq, Mercy Corps and the local branch of the National Olympic Committee organized a wonderful festival for the International Day of Peace. The day involved children reading a poem and releasing white doves before a football match in Azadi Stadium.
Iraq: Before it was like I was blind
Since 2003, Mercy Corps has worked to improve the lives of millions of people in Iraq. Our largest program is in the south of the country, and focuses on community building and good governance.
Iraq: U.S. ambassador visits women's peace-building program in Iraq
Last Wednesday, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Christopher Hill met with six women participants of Mercy Corps' Empowering Women Peace Builders in Kirkuk program, and discussed with women their views on the future of Kirkuk and U.S. policy in the contested city and Iraq at large.
Iraq: Empowering Iraqis with disabilities
Here, Moaffak Alkhafaji speaks with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki at the second national conference of the Iraqi Alliance for Disability Organizations, or IADO. Alkhafaji is the head of the alliance, which Mercy Corps helped create.
Iraq: My meeting with Vice President Biden
I met with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden last Friday in a small roundtable discussion to discuss reconciliation in Iraq. Three non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were represented — Relief International, the Institute for War and Peace Reporting and Mercy Corps.
Iraq: Getting to "yes" in Iraq
Iraqis are celebrating on the streets as the U.S. withdraws its troops from the major urban areas of Iraq, but the fresh violence in Kirkuk serves as a sober reminder of the country's still fragile security condition.
Iraq: Ned Lamont calls out Mercy Corps' work on The Huffington Post
Today Ned Lamont — businessman, former Democratic Senate candidate in Connecticut and Mercy Corps board member — called out Mercy Corps' work with Iraqi refugees in an insightful piece on Huffington
Iraq: From Kansas to Cairo
Listening to President Obama's speech in Cairo yesterday, I was struck by how many themes resonated with what Mercy Corps is doing in the Middle East.
Iraq: Kirkuk Women Are Building Peace
Mercy Corps is training women in Kirkuk, Iraq to become leaders and work cooperatively against violence and hatred.