In 2003, following the start of foreign military operations in Iraq, DRC became one of the first organisations to provide humanitarian assistance in the country and now operates in 12 governorates including Mosul, Baghdad, Dohuk, Tel Afar, Salah-al-Din, Anbar, Diyala, Karbala, Basra, Al Sulaymaniyah, Kirkuk and Najaf allowing access to 50% of locations with IDP and returnee presence.

In Iraq’s post-war context, 6.7 million people, constituting nearly 18% of the population, are still in need of humanitarian aid and 1.8 million are internally displaced. According to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), 54% of all internally displaced persons (IDPs) have been displaced for three or more years. Meanwhile, approximately 11 per cent of 4 million Iraqis who have been able to return are in locations where living conditions are not considered to be adequate, dignified and safe. 

2017 saw the end of over four years of military operations in Iraq, and in 2018 to date, the context has stabilised. New displacements are steadily reducing, and the number of people returning to their areas of origin has exceeded the number of new displacements for the first time since 2014. Following these positive developments, the humanitarian community has shifted from an emergency response to an early recovery mindset. Despite these positive movements, however, Iraq remains critically fragile. In this context, it remains critical for humanitarian actors to maintain emergency response capacity. To be effective in case the situation deteriorates, this capacity must have a variety of different modalities, have the capacity to reach a wide geographic area, and have a focus on maintaining access, particularly to the most vulnerable.

DRC Iraq’s response

DRC progressively adapted the scope of its response to this changing context, moving beyond large-scale, emergency programming in camps and in favour of more specialised, targeted activities as part of its early recovery portfolio while maintaining capacity to address sudden onset crises. 

DRC in Iraq aims to improve safety, dignity and resilience by facilitating the transition from meeting basic needs to sustainable solutions for individuals and communities affected by conflict and displacement. 

DRC Iraq‘s interventions

Economic Recovery
DRC’s economic recovery programme ensures economic self-resilience for conflict and displacement affected communities to achieve sustainable livelihoods through a graduated process that is tailored to the context, market dynamics, and the specific needs at different phases of displacement.

DRC is also part of the Cash Consortium of Iraq (CCI), which was formally formed in March 2015 along with four other organisations. The main objective of the CCI is to enhance the impact of multi-purpose cash assistance for conflict-affected households through a harmonised approach and increased reach. 

DRC’s Protection unit works to strengthen the protective environment in local communities, by empowering conflict and displacement affected communities to protect themselves and others, to access justice, and to obtain their legal rights. 

Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM)
DRC’s CCCM programme aims at supporting highly vulnerable people in priority areas, including those in protracted displacement who are unable or unwilling to return to their areas of origin. This is accomplished by ensuring that vulnerable, displaced households have access to basic services in informal settlements as well as ensuring safe and dignified living conditions in IDP camps. 

DRC continues to support the 7,218 families in Qayyarah camp with direct camp management activities and continues to advocate for upgrading camp infrastructures to meet the needs of IDPs.

WASH & Infrastructure
DRC’s shelter and WASH activities focus on improving access to integrated and principled shelter and WASH services for the most vulnerable, conflict-affected communities; improving the quality of life and social cohesion for displaced people affected by conflict through area-based, targeted WASH and shelter assistance; and improving the capacity of local authorities to support return and reintegration through collaboration on multi-year, community focused WASH and shelter interventions.

Humanitarian Mine Action
DDG is a Humanitarian Mine Action unit within DRC. Its activities and interventions are cross-cutting and address not only the protection of civilians and property but also displacement issues and immediate humanitarian needs during and after conflict. Across Iraq DRC implements a wide array of humanitarian mine action activities including explosive hazards risk education, non-technical survey, technical survey, explosive ordinance disposal, mine clearance, battle area clearance, community liaison and quality assurance/quality control in support of the Regional Mine Action Centre (RMAC) in North and South of Iraq. DRC targets people from those communities who are most at risk from explosive hazards, including refugees and IDPs in and out of camp settings and informal settlements and host communities.

2019 Strategic focus

DRC Iraq will continue to shift its programming towards early recovery and development while maintaining the capacity to respond to new emerging needs. In IDP camps, DRC will ensure that minimum standards are met and the most vulnerable receive basic lifesaving assistance. At the same time, DRC will continue to accompany the return process and focus in areas of return, implementing an integrated multisector response. 

Programme specialisation and integration will be a key strategic focus in 2019 to maximise the impact of DRC’s intervention and provide sustainable and qualitative assistance. In that regards, DRC will continue to operate various Community Resource Centres across Iraq and deliver multi-level services in collaboration with the local authorities.

DRC Iraq programming is made possible thanks to the generous support from: