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: 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.
Iraq: Resolving Conflict Peacefully
When violence tears a country apart, communication and compromise are often the first casualties. Mercy Corps believes that engaging adversaries in productive dialogue can lead to peaceful, lasting change for war-torn communities.
Iraq, Jordan: Food packages help Iraqi refugees
Iraq: Laying the Groundwork for Peace in Iraq
Last Sunday marked the eighth annual International Day of Peace. Here in Khanaqin, Iraq, we celebrated by holding a soccer match between two groups of people who don't always play for the same team.
Iraq: Campaigning for Iraq's Disabled
Editor's Note: This originally appeared on The NBC Nightly News and on MSNBC, and can also be seen at
Iraq: Mercy Corps Calls for Greater Response to Dire Humanitarian Situation in Iraq