Situation overview

The humanitarian crisis in Northern Iraq, instigated by ISIS’ capture of Mosul in June 2014 has destroyed homes, infrastructures, and economies and caused displacement, violence, loss of lives and livelihoods, social tensions, strained resources, and uncertainty.

The UN issued appeals to support people needing urgent humanitarian assistance. Among the many international agencies, The Lutheran World Federation (LWF), member of the ACT Alliance, started responding to the Iraqi crisis in August 2014 in Dohuk Governorate, which hosts the second largest population of internally displaced people in the Kurdish region of Iraq. The LWF is registered as a charitable agency with the Kurdistan Regional Government since 2015. In 2018, LWF submitted a request to the Iraqi central government for registration in Iraq.

Iraq is heavily affected by the wars and by the Syrian crisis. Decades of conflict, security concerns, and intractable political and sectarian divisions have left the country’s infrastructure and services in ruins. The humanitarian crisis in Iraq remains one of the largest and most volatile in the world. Combat against the Islamic State or Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has ended and hundreds of displaced people are returning to their homes and communities. For the first time in years, UNOCHA has recorded more returnees (3.8 million individuals) than displaced people (2 million individuals) since January 2018. Many of these returnees have found homes, schools, and healthcare facilities destroyed or severely damaged. In many areas, the re-start of basic water supply, sanitation, and other municipal services has proven an overwhelming task that may not be completed for years.Iraq is heavily affected by the wars and by the Syrian crisis.

Decades of conflict, security concerns, and intractable political and sectarian divisions have left the country’s infrastructure and services in ruins. The humanitarian crisis in Iraq remains one of the largest and most volatile in the world. Combat against the Islamic State or Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has ended and hundreds of displaced people are returning to their homes and communities. For the first time in years, UNOCHA has recorded more returnees (3.8 million individuals) than displaced people (2 million individuals) since January 2018. Many of these returnees have found homes, schools, and healthcare facilities destroyed or severely damaged. In many areas, the re-start of basic water supply, sanitation, and other municipal services has proven an overwhelming task that may not be completed for years.

LWF response

The LWF has intervened in Iraq since 2014, supporting internally displaced people, host communities and Syrian refugees. It has been implementing projects in the Kurdish region of Iraq, mainly in Dohuk governorate, and in late 2016/early 2017 LWF Iraq expanded its activities to the neighboring areas of the Nineveh Plains after its liberation from ISIL, working through local partners. Populations targeted include community members who remained and survived the ISIS occupation, IDPs who fled but are now returning to their homes and recently displaced IDPs from Mosul.

In line with the LWF World Service overall strategy 2018 – 2022, LWF Iraq’s programming is focused on building resilience of IDPs, host communities and returnees through:

  • Protection / Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) activities: LWF focuses specific attention on increasing coping capacities and mechanisms of the population, especially vulnerable women and girls.
  • Livelihood: LWF increases livelihoods opportunities for women and men through business rehabilitation programs and several vocational training programs. As more and more displaced people are returning to their homes, they are finding their homes and businesses destroyed, and therefore with no source of income.
  • Quality Services: Water, Sanitation and Hygiene: LWF promotes safe WASH practices to facilitate access to drinkable water and hygiene items and rehabilitates WASH infrastructure that was destroyed during the conflict.

Social cohesion, child protection and gender justice aspects are mainstreamed throughout all projects, ensuring that all activities, based on multi-cultural, multi-religious community led-programing, ultimately contribute to social cohesion.

Coordination

LWF is a member of the Action by Churches Together (ACT) Alliance. LWF Iraq is actively participating in the local ACT Northern Iraq Forum, holding the ACT Forum Coordinator position and having served in the role of Forum Chair since October 2016 to March 2018.

LWF has been working with local NGOs in order to provide support where INGO access is limited or where local partners already work. As such, additional effort is put into local partner capacity building.

  • CAPNI (Christian Aid Program – Nohadra Iraq)
  • JIYAN Foundation (Kirkuk Centre for Torture Victims)
  • BWA (Baghdad Women Association)

All activities have been undertaken in close coordination with the UN actors, all humanitarian actors, the Kurdish government and ACT Alliance members.

 

Updated July 2018 

Help us make a difference in the lives of people in need in Iraq and other places throughout the world.

 

ACT Appeal

Iraq: Support to IDPs and Host Communities – IRQ181 (December 2017)

 

Funding partners include:

  • Australian Lutheran World Service
  • Canadian Lutheran World Relief
  • Diakonia Sweden
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria
  • Finn Church Aid
  • Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission
  • ICCO and Kerk in Actie