ACTED has been present in Iraq supporting conflict affected populations since 2004 and currently operates in 15 regions. For the last 4 years, our team of 350 people has been responding to the Syrian refugee and IDP crisis, notably in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, where ACTED supports over 1.5 million people. Our multi-sectoral approach addresses the most urgent needs of internally displaced people and refugees by ensuring their protection, delivering life-saving food assistance, providing shelter and non-food item packages with lifesaving items and improving their living environment in and out of camps through camp management and Water, Hygiene and Sanitation activities.
A multi-sectorial response for a rapidly escalating humanitarian crisis
The extreme and violent conflict has resulted in massive displacement since 2014. The ongoing crisis in Syria has also seen 250,000 refugees seek safe haven in Iraq since 2011. ACTED has responded to the emergency through a multi-sectoral approach addressing the most urgent needs of internally displaced people and refugees by ensuring their protection, delivering life-saving food assistance, providing shelter and non-food item packages with lifesaving items and improving their living environment in and out of camps through camp management and Water, Hygiene and Sanitation activities. Additionally, REACH has carried out assessments of camps, sites and of hard-to-reach areas, among many others, throughout the country.
Food security rapid response to sudden displacement in Iraq
In 2015, ACTED helped meet the basic needs of Iraqis and Syrian refugees by providing urgent and life-saving food assistance in the case of sudden displacements. ACTED, as one of the leading partners implementing the coordinated Rapid Response Mechanism in Iraq, remained ready to respond to the needs of newly displaced individuals within the first 72 hours from their initial movement and provided life-saving food rations complemented by water and hygiene kits. ACTED also helped ensure that nutritional needs were met though in-kind distributions and through the use of e-vouchers where market enabled beneficiaries to safely access food provisions through local sources.
ACTED child protection activities: building resilience and enhancing capacities
In 2015, ACTED was one of the most significant child protection actors in Iraq, supporting those who have suffered from years of violence, conflict and displacement. ACTED addressed the needs of refugee and internally displaced children and youth by creating Child and Youth Friendly Spaces for vulnerable children where they could participate in recreational activities, non-formal education, vocational trainings while also receiving much needed psychosocial support. Through these mechanisms, children displaying signs of distress, neglect, abuse and/or violence were referred to ACTED’s Child Protection Units where specialised services were available.
Improving lives of internally displaced through rehabilitation and distribution activities
ACTED supported displaced people in Iraq in terms of urgent shelter and non-food items, through the provision of clothing for the cold winter months, shelter kits for winterization and shelter repair kits in collective and critical shelters. ACTED also addressed the dire water and sanitation needs of approximately 230,000 people. ACTED set-up water storage tanks, provided water supply to respond rapidly to displacement when necessary, set up culturally appropriate and secure pits and portable latrines, garbage disposal equipment and provided washing facilities, such as hand-washing and showers, while also conducting hygiene promotion activities.
Today’s unfolding Iraqi crisis: increased vulnerabilities but decreased funding
Iraq has witnessed the massive displacement of 3.2 million people in 2015. The likely liberation of areas currently under Islamic State control is expected to cause further massive movements of people in 2016 with a rapid increase in the number of people in need of urgent and lifesaving assistance. However, while the crisis keeps unfolding, Iraq is getting less and less international attention, resulting in limited funding and thus decreased operational capacity to respond to the urgent needs of the population. For this reasons ACTED will liaise with institutional and private donors, both nationally and internationally, to secure funding for the most vulnerable.
Winterization kits supporting the life of thousands of displaced people
Ahmed is one of the millions of internally displaced who fled his home following the outbreak of the war in Iraq since 2014. Ahmed’s family – himself, his wife and six children – were forced to leave behind their belongings and with limited resources and savings available, they had to settle in an unfinished building. ACTED’s winterization kit, containing isolating material and tools, enabled them to isolate their shelter from the wind and rain while also strengthening their structure to ensure warmth and safety. However, while ACTED’s support continues to be beneficial to thousands of internally displaced, many remain in critical conditions.
Partners in 2015
Department for International Development (DFID) – United Kingdom, Food and AgricultureOrganization of the United Nation (FAO), French Senate, Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GiZ), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), Marathon Oil, Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), ShelterBox, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), World Food Programme (WFP)