Human Development Index
120 (out of 188 countries ranked)
People Helped in 2020: 99,838
Iraq’s 2014-2017 conflict with Islamic State (IS) resulted in several waves of displacements. The time spent under IS rule and the military campaigns exacerbated many issues, such as limited opportunities for livelihoods, damaged or destroyed housing and water supplies, and a breakdown of social cohesion due to past hostilities between different groups. At the beginning of 2020, the humanitarian situation was expected to improve: the United Nations projected a 40% decrease in the number of people in need of assistance.
Then, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and its economic impact increased the vulnerabilities of internally displaced people, returnees, and host communities in Iraq. The crisis led to a rise in unemployment, currency devaluation, increased food prices, loss of livelihood opportunities, and stretching of already inadequate healthcare, sanitation and other public services. Moreover, the government’s camp-closure policy created a new wave of displacement and premature returns to areas that lack basic infrastructure.
Action Against Hunger supports Syrian refugees in Iraq, internally displaced people, and host communities. Our teams employ a multisector approach, combining all our fields of expertise. Our food security and livelihoods programs provided business grants, cash for work, kitchen garden development, and the construction or rehabilitation of greenhouse and irrigation systems. Our water, sanitation and hygiene teams rehabilitate drainage and water networks, schools and health facilities, distribute supplies, and promote good hygiene.
Our mental health and infant care programs included emergency psychological support, women’s, men’s and children’s group sessions, individual follow-up, the establishment of baby spaces, and training for mental health professionals. Our nutrition and health programs focus on screening and treating malnutrition and strengthening the capacity of health centers.
In 2020, an estimated 1.85 million people were in critical need of sustained and equitable access to safe and appropriate water, sanitation, and hygiene services.Action Against Hunger’s water, sanitation, and hygiene team helped to improve hygiene practices by raising awareness and distributing hygiene kits. We also provided key mental health, protection, and food security support to families impacted by COVID-19.