For the fourth year running, seven Dutch NGOs, united in the DRA, have joined forces to provide aid to displaced families in Iraq.

The organisations have been working together in Iraq since 2015 and for the first time expand their aid to more than 42,000 people in the central and western parts of the country. Paul Wolters of Terre des Hommes: ‘IS seems to have been almost defeated in Iraq, but the humanitarian implications of their terror are still overwhelming.’

Humanitarian aid

In 2018, the Dutch Relief Alliance will provide aid to over 42,000 people in the provinces of Anbar, Kirkuk, Ninewa and Salahaddin. People traumatised by war receive mental and psychological aid. Clean drinking water and sanitary facilities will improve health and hygiene conditions. Cash grants allow meeting people’s basic needs: buying food or clothes, paying rent or repairing their houses. Communities that have received large numbers of refugees in the last few years will also receive support.

Humanitarian aid urgently needed

Paul Wolters, Coordinator Humanitarian Assistance of Terre des Hommes: ‘In large parts of Iraq the war is over, but millions of people are still dependent on humanitarian aid. Houses, roads and infrastructure have been destroyed or damaged. There is no employment, no clean drinking water and little medical care. Therefore aid provided by the Netherlands, other countries and the United Nations is urgently needed.

Large-scale crisis

The humanitarian crisis in Iraq is one of the world’s main crises. In recent years, millions of people were displaced due to war violence. Although the latest offensives have almost repressed the terrorist organisation Islamic State in Iraq, it also caused hundreds of thousands of people to flee, like for example during the months-long battle to free Mosul. It is currently estimated that 3.17 million Iraqis have been displaced, as shown by figures of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). But those who have not fled, or those who have returned to their homes in the meantime, are also often still in urgent need of assistance. According to the United Nations approximately 11 million people are affected.

Aid provided to 600,000 Iraqis

Since January 2015, the Dutch Relief Alliance has provided aid to over 600,000 Iraqis. In 2018, we will increase our efforts, together with Dorcas, ICCO & Kerk in Actie, Oxfam Novib, Tearfund NL, World Vision and ZOA. Terre des Hommes is responsible for the coordination. They will work together with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which also ensures funding. Each organisation brings their own emergency aid expertise, thus ensuring partners complement each other. The Dutch Relief Alliance was founded in 2014 to ensure swift and effective emergency aid to victims of international humanitarian crises. The DRA has 16 members and is active in 15 countries, including South Sudan, northern Iraq, Syria and Ukraine.

Dutch Relief Alliance

The Dutch Relief Association (DRA) offers swift and effective emergency aid to victims of international crises. The Alliance is a coalition of 16 Dutch NGOs and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which also ensures funding of the relief efforts. Terre des Hommes, Dorcas, ICCO & Kerk in Actie, Oxfam Novib, Tearfund NL, World Vision and ZOA carry out the emergency aid activities in Iraq.

The DRA members are: CARE Netherlands, Cordaid, Dorcas, ICCO & Kerk in Actie, Oxfam Novib, Plan, Help a Child, Save the Children, SOS Children’s Villages, Tearfund NL, Terre des Hommes, Netherlands Refugee Foundation, War Child, War Trauma Foundation, World Vision, ZOA and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Humanitarian aid for children

Wars and natural disasters also affect children. What is more, in the event of emergency situations half of the victims are often under the age of 18. These children face fear, hunger, violence or diseases and are extremely vulnerable to exploitation. Terre des Hommes therefore also provides emergency aid focusing on the care and protection of children and their families. Thanks to the Dutch Relief Alliance thousands of children and their families in Iraq receive assistance. Now let’s save the others. Will you help us?