Middle East


In Iraq, more than 2.5 million people need humanitarian assistance and 1.2 million Iraqis remain internally displaced. Alongside meeting residual humanitarian needs resulting from the conflict with the so-called Islamic State (IS), DRC is also supporting communities’ broader recovery efforts while maintaining capacity to address new needs, including due to (re-)displacement, water scarcity and climate change.

Current situation

Five years after the Government of Iraq declared an end to the war against IS, needs persist. Today, more than 2.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance and 1.2 million Iraqis remain internally displaced (IDPs). This includes over 100,000 people who live in informal sites across the country, who often face heightened challenges accessing services and livelihoods, critical shelter conditions, and recurring risks of eviction. Many of these individuals were re-displaced following the rapid closure of most IDP camps in 2020 and 2021.

At the same time, many of the nearly 5 million people who have returned to their areas of origin following their displacement continue to face challenges re-integrating in their communities. This includes damaged and destroyed housing and challenges related to safety, social cohesion and economic security. Nearly 260,000 Syrian refugees also reside in Iraq, as conditions in Syria continue to preclude safe, voluntary and dignified returns.

Against this backdrop, the COVID-19 pandemic, political fragility and continued economic instability have increased socioeconomic vulnerabilities across the country. The conflict with IS uprooted millions of people, eroded social cohesion, disrupted access to basic services and destroyed livelihoods – the effects of which are still felt by communities today. Water scarcity and climate change are exacerbating these challenges, leading to further displacement and threatening the health and livelihoods of thousands of Iraqis.

Core sectors Iraq

Economic Recovery
Humanitarian Disarmament and Peacebuilding
Shelter and Settlements
Camp Coordination and Camp Management

Displacement trends

Source: | DRC Foresight


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Why we are there

In 2003, shortly after the start of foreign military operations in Iraq, DRC became one of the first organisations on the ground providing humanitarian assistance in the country.

Today, DRC continues to provide humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable displacement-affected families, including IDPs, returnees and host communities.

As needs have shifted over the course of Iraq’s recovery, DRC has also progressively adapted the scope of its response, moving beyond large-scale, emergency programming in camps in favor of more specialized early recovery activities, while maintaining capacity to address sudden-onset crises.

What we do

DRC works to support the safety, dignity, and resilience of conflict- and displacement affected people in Iraq by providing for critical basic needs as well as developing sustainable long-term solutions for individuals and communities.

To meet these goals, DRC works to support IDPs, returnees and host communities across 7 governorates, with programming focused on economic recovery; protection; shelter, settlements and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); camp coordination and camp management (CCCM); and humanitarian disarmament and peacebuilding (HDP).

DRC also works to support the economic inclusion of Syrian refugees in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, where the vast majority of these families reside.