Tell Congress You Support the Community Action Program in Iraq

Iraq, March 24, 2008

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  <span class="field-credit">
    Jacob Colie/Mercy Corps  </span>
    In one northern Iraq town, Mercy Corps is expanding health services, sponsoring women's forums, and ensuring that displaced Iraqis have clean drinking water and access to education. Photo: Jacob Colie/Mercy Corps

Over the last five years in Iraq, Mercy Corps has undertaken one of the most significant relief operations in our 29-year history.

We provide food, medical aid and schooling to displaced children and families across Iraq. We support women's groups, promote equal representation and aid disability-rights campaigns. We enlist Iraq's best and brightest to lead our programs and to decide — as Iraqis and for themselves — the best direction to take their country.

You can help by taking action now to keep needed aid flowing to humanitarian assistance for Iraqis.

Congress is reconsidering funding for a program essential to rebuilding Iraq. It's called the Community Action Program, or CAP, and it helps promote grassroots democracy and better local governance by empowering Iraqi community groups.

Call 1-866-340-9281 — it's toll-free — and ask to be connected to the office of your Congressperson. Ask them to sign the "Dear Colleague" letter being circulated by representatives Blumenauer and Shays that supports the CAP in Iraq.

The CAP is critical to rebuilding Iraq. CAP's overarching objective is to promote grassroots democracy and better local governance through community development by helping to create representative and participatory local community action groups whose decisions drive the program. CAP directly engages Iraqis in reconstructing their own communities, while building a nationwide grassroots constituency for democracy.

Since June 2003, CAP has:

  • provided $271 million to 6,000 projects
  • mobilized 1,457 community groups in all 18 governorates
  • created more than 2.7 million days of employment and 34,000 long-term jobs — of which 43 percent have gone to women

Rep. Blumenauer and Rep. Shays are circulating a "Dear Colleague" letter to encourage House members to voice their support of the CAP to the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House Appropriations Committee, which will decide the fate of the program.

Mercy Corps implements the CAP in partnership with three other U.S.-based relief-and-development organizations. Help us ensure this vital program continues by asking your Representative to sign on to the Blumenauer-Shays letter today.