Support the needs of Syrians who have sought refuge in the Kurdish Autonomous region of northern Iraq. 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.
The road to a new Iraq is fraught with challenges and citizens struggle to survive against a backdrop of political dysfunction, infighting and potential civil war. Now, the conflict in neighboring Syria is driving Syrian refugees across the border into camps and urban settlements in the north.
The country's precarious development is stressed by the needs of these new residents. Electricity is an ongoing problem, water is in short supply, and large communities of internally displaced families already lack water, shelter and proper hygiene facilities.
- Emergency response: Distributing mattresses, heating supplies and shelter materials to Syrian refugees.
- Children & Youth: Creating safe spaces for Syrian children to learn and play in Arbat refugee camp.
- Conflict & Governance: Encouraging reconciliation and good governance by empowering local leaders to resolve disputes and reform policies.
- Economic opportunity: Partnering with local groups to finance 1,577 community projects spearheaded by citizens.
- Women & Gender: Equipping more than 26,000 women and girls with basic literacy and numeracy skills as well as information about democracy and women’s rights
All stories about Iraq
Iraq: 'Nothing equals education' May 23, 2011
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 April 27, 2011
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 April 21, 2011
Graduates of Mercy Corps' literacy program in Basra, Iraq, proudly holding their certificates.
Iraq: Two Iraqi women, determined to succeed April 21, 2011
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" April 19, 2011
"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 April 12, 2011
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 April 7, 2011
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 February 28, 2011
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.
Iraq: Literacy builds confidence for women in southern Iraq February 24, 2011
Iraq: Protests, violence and the new speed of news February 17, 2011
A few hours ago, I saw troubling signs come up on my Facebook page. One friend I made last month when I was visiting Iraq posted photos from a day of protests and violence in Sulaymaniyah, the city where I stayed.