The crises in Syria and Iraq are humanitarian emergencies on a massive scale. As we approach the fifth year of the start of the Syrian war, conditions have deteriorated significantly.
The spread of violence into Iraq has displaced almost 14 million people between these two countries.
Four million refugees have fled Syria with significant spillover impacting the economies, social and natural resources, and regional stability of Syria’s closest neighbors: Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Turkey.
In the summer of 2015, the crisis took another deadly turn, sending hundreds of thousands of Syrians to risk their lives to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach the safety of Europe.
Mercy Corps has been advocating in Europe and the U.S. for more humanitarian aid to meet growing needs in an efficient, effective and coordinated fashion, while also seeking to address longer-term needs in fragile countries like Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq.
In Iraq, we believe donors should integrate a conflict prevention approach into all programs, including humanitarian, in order to build social cohesion between different ethnic and religious groups caught up in escalating violence between Islamic State militants, militias and the Iraqi government.