International Rescue Committee (IRC)

Iraq crisis: the IRC in Iraq

Two Iraqi children who fled Islamic State militants
Photo: Rachel Unkovic/IRC

More than 2 million people inside Iraq have been uprooted by violent conflict. The International Rescue Committee is providing clean water, medicine, protection services, relief supplies 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.

The Latest

How We Help

Winter aid:

  • In northern Iraq, the IRC is distributing emergency winter kits to more than 25,000 refugees living in unfinished buildings and makeshift camps. The kits include thermal blankets, bed covers, a kerosene heater and a large carpet.

 Emergency response in Iraq

  • The IRC is working to meet the immediate needs of Iraqi families who fled to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Central Iraq and across the border to Syria.  
  • We are supporting public health centers with critical drugs and will expand to support the recruitment of additional doctors and nurses to manage the influx of new patients
  • We are facilitating provision of cash assistance to 20,000 displaced Iraqi families throughout the central region 

The IRC's other work in Iraq  

  • 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.
  • The IRC rebuilds schools damaged by war, and trains teachers, reaching close to 50,000 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.
August 25, 2015 | Blog
Zakia, 32, became the first woman elected as a representative in the Arbat refugee camp in northern Iraq to help address the concerns of Syrian refugees. The IRC organizes camp elections every six months.

 Aid worker updates from Iraq

Get the latest updates and photos from IRC aid workers and others responding to and reporting on the crisis in Iraq [Crisis in Iraq on Storify].