Since 2003, ACTED has been working in Iraq to provide humanitarian support to vulnerable populations through a multi-sectoral response to the Syrian refugee crisis and the Iraqi mass displacement challenges. ACTED teams in Iraq implement a comprehensive response ranging from emergency and camp management activities to reconstruction, stabilization, and resilience programmes across 15 governorates.

Mission context

With the end of military operations against ISIL in 2018, Iraq was able to begin its transition into a post-conflict state. Many Iraqis began their journey back home, not knowing whether they had homes to return to, nor what remained of their communities. Iraqis face damaged infrastructure, a complex and hypersensitive community reconciliation process, and limited livelihoods opportunities, all of which will have to be addressed if the country is to move on meaningfully from its recent history.

Given these conditions, ACTED has gradually adapted its programming from emergency assistance to reconstruction, stabilization, and resilience, especially targeting areas of high return in order to help those affected by conflict rebuild their lives.

ACTED in Iraq

Iraq has seen a wave of approximately four million returns in 2018. Despite considerable recent investment in the recovery, for the two million Iraqi families still displaced, many barriers need to be addressed before they can return home. Unresolved concerns regarding the lack of security in their home region, the destruction of basic infrastructure, or a lack of prospects all serve to deter those displaced from reintegrating back into their communities.

To cater for the needs of those facing protracted displacement, in 2018 ACTED consolidated its status as a forefront actor in the coordination and management of camps housing displaced populations, as well as the accommodation of displaced persons living outside of camps. ACTED targeted the governorates of Ninewa, Diyala and Dohuk as the regions housing the highest concentrations of displaced persons nationally. ACTED’s work ensured that living standards were sustained and that families could access lifesaving assistance such as: emergency shelters, key supplies (e.g. cooking items and blankets), food, safe drinking water, and sanitation facilities.

In West Mosul, site of some of the heaviest fighting in 2017, ACTED created a number of ‘Quick Impact Projects’ to help rehabilitate vital infrastructure and reinstate municipal service. Such work is all the more vital given the high number of IDPs hoping to return to Mosul for whom a lack of basic services remains a key barrier. ACTED’s work included distribution of collective refuse bins, the repair and reinstatement of refuse collection trucks, street cleaning, and the rehabilitation of a water treatment facility. All actions were requested directly by Mosul residents, with ACTED giving setting priorities on the basis of community inputs.

Local engineers building Iraq's first leachate treatment plant to tackle the environmental challenges created by the runoff from untreated garbage.
In Mosul, ACTED begins the cleanup operation following the retreat of ISIL.
Birds gather over Kwashe landfill site. Under investment in solid waste management remains a major danger to humans, animals and nature, hence ACTED's work to build treatment infrastructures.
Local companies in Mosul get to work restoring public bins in communal areas as part of city clean up efforts
Mosul's residents lead the efforts to clean the streets following the long-term total breakdown in municipal services
Mosul's new army of streetsweepers after a day's work
ACTED staff oversee a distribution of essential items at Salamiya camp. A camp in which many of those displaced from the Mosul conflict remain until this day.
In Hawiga, locals lead the distribution of items to help displaced persons make their shelters resistant to the elements in preparation for the winter.
In Mosul, ACTED engaged with returning residents to help decide what the most pressing issues were in their neighbourhoods.
ACTED in Iraq remains heavily involved in the management and improvement of camps in Iraq and the KRI.

Forefront actor for sustainable solutions to the water pollution in Dohuk Governorate

In Dohuk in the Kurdish Region of Iraq, the heavy influx of conflict-affected persons created serious environmental and health concerns due to the fact that solid waste management services were overwhelmed. ACTED worked to mitigate these impacts by investing in new water treatment infrastructures. To minimise the negative implications of toxic wastewater produced from the decomposition of landfill waste, ACTED piloted the construction of Iraq’s first leachate treatment system. This pioneering project helped position ACTED as a key player in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene sector in Iraq, while providing a sustainable, locally-managed solution to one of Dohuk’s most pressing environmental issues. Now that the site is completed, local communities, livestock and groundwater are no longer at risk and local farmers have a new source of clean water for irrigation.

Current projects

Provision of integrated multi-sectoral response for vulnerable populations living in informal sites in Iraq

Meeting the vital needs of the displaced Syrian population in Iraq

Coordinated Action for Multi-Sector Programming in Camp and Out-of-Camp Settings

Promote Resilience, Environmental Sustainability, Empowerement of Rural Vulnerable Areas through inclusive opportunity in Iraq

Assessment and information management support to UNHCR: IDPs and refugees residing in and out of formal camps, Iraq

Camp Coordination and Camp Management in Salamiyah camp and support to voluntary returns in Ninewa governorate

Child protection services for Syrian, non-Syrian refugees and asylum seekers from other nationalities in camps and out of camp locations, Duhok Governorate

Supporting the care and maintenance of IDP camp infrastructure in Dohuk Governorate

Emergency appeal Syria and Iraq

Meeting the vital needs of populations affected by the war in north-eastern Syria and displaced in Iraq

Providing a multi-sectoral area-based humanitarian response to vulnerable populations in Ninewa governorate, Iraq

Agriculture Value Chain and Market Assessment in Iraq

Emergency SNFI and CCCM response to vulnerable populations in Iraq

Création d’un espace culturel francophone au sein de l’université de Mossoul

Supporting resilience for host communities, returnees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Iraq

Support improved provision of basic social and health services through local capacity building in Lebanon and Iraqi Kurdistan

Child protection services for refugees in Iraq

Improving Communication with Refugee Communities

Improving communication with the IDP communities in Iraq

Cash Assistance for IDPs



September 2018

Looking Forward - ACTED Iraq


February 2018

Building resilience in most affcted communities in Iraq

In arabic

February 2018

Leaflet for hygiene promotion

April 2020

Iraq Country Strategy Paper 2020
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