International Rescue Committee (IRC)

The IRC in Iraq

Iraqi mother and child in Kurdistan camp
Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

An already serious humanitarian crisis is growing worse with more than 1 million men, women and children fleeing their homes in the wake of escalating violence in Iraq. The IRC is providing clean water, medicine, protection services and emergency financial assistance to the displaced as well as vulnerable locals. In addition, the IRC provides emergency support to thousands of Syrian refugees in northern Iraq, and — since 2003 — those who have fled previous waves of violence in central Iraq.

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How We Help

 Emergency Response in Iraq

  • The IRC is focusing its assistance on water, sanitation and hygiene for Iraqis who have fled to the Kudistan region to escape recent waves of violence.

The IRC's Ongoing Work  

  • The IRC rebuilds schools damaged by war, and trains teachers, reaching close to fifty-thousand students at 216 Iraqi schools.
  • We provide free legal assistance to thousands of Iraqi returnees and displaced persons, as well as to the growing Syrian refugee population.
  • We help displaced community leaders develop their skills in identifying and addressing essential community needs.   
  • We promote healthy families and women’s well-being by providing health, legal and psychosocial services.  
  • We help displaced young people find work and become self-sufficient through savings and credit associations and job training.
  • The IRC ensures that displaced school children have access to clean water and proper hygiene facilities.
  • The IRC works in camps for Syrian refugees where we provide services for women, education for children, legal assistance, and access to clean water and sanitation.  We also mobilize refugees and empower them to ensure their needs are met and their human rights are respected. 

Updated July 2014

July 25, 2014 | Blog
Hundreds of thousands of people have fled new violence in Iraq and many have sought sanctuary in the northern Kurdish region. Follow our Iraq Crisis Storify feature to get the latest updates from IRC aid workers and others who are responding to and reporting on the crisis.