Mercy Corps has been working in Iraq since 2003. 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 displaced people and refugees. 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.
More than 200,000 Mosul residents have been displaced since fighting in the city began — 50,000 of them are newly displaced after recent armed attacks in February 2017. Mercy Corps is responding to the urgent needs of more than 80,000 of the 217,000 people who fled Mosul in the fall of 2016 and we are preparing to expand our work as needed. Learn more about the humanitarian crisis in Mosul ▸
- 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.
Iraq: Voting in Iraq: an act of faith
The biggest issue that regularly confounds me each time I vote here in Seattle is finding a postage stamp. Despite this, I have become a strong believer in the mail-in ballot, mostly because I don't have to haul myself to the polls at seven o'clock in the morning before I head off to work.
Iraq: A palpable sense of accomplishment in Baghdad
On Sunday morning, election day in Iraq, I was awakened by a text message from a colleague telling me to get to a safe spot. Turns out I had slept through the first of dozens of bombs that would occur on election day in Iraq.
Iraq: Happy International Women's Day
I’m blogging again today to wish you all a Happy International Women’s Day.
Iraq: Iraqi staff with purple fingers
Here are some our Baghdad staff who participated in yesterday's elections. They are proudly displaying their purple index fingers, which signifies that they voted.
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.