Iraqi families urgently need your help

After decades of conflict and violence, more than 3 million Iraqis have been forced to abandon their homes. Terrified, many fled with just the clothes on their backs. Now, with their limited financial resources exhausted, they are in desperate need of emergency aid.

“We had no choice other than to leave because it was not safe for our children. We left everything – our clothes, our furniture, even our food.” Nafa Jihad, 40, father.

In July 2017, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi officially declared that the city of Mosul was back under government control. However, armed extremist groups still control territory in several areas of Iraq.  

What is UNHCR doing to help?

  • protection for families fleeing conflict,
  • monitoring checkpoints to ensure people safe passage out of conflict zones,
  • and running displacement and refugee camps in the north.
  • supporting safe return for families from areas no longer experincing conflict 

UNHCR is also providing displaced Iraqis with life-saving relief items such as tents, mattresses, plastic sheeting, kitchen sets, buckets and other essentials. But as the situation worsens our supplies are running low. 

What can you do to help?

Please make a donation today and give hope to a refugee family in crisis. Your gift will ensure that UNHCR can provide life-saving assistance to vulnerable Iraqi children, women and men displaced by the conflict.

Thousands of Iraqi women have lost their husbands and are now raising their children alone with no income.

Support the Iraqi Emergency


Your donations in action

A mother walks her child home from class at a camp for displaced Iraqis in Baghdad


Education Education

Core relief items include blankets, mattresses, cooking utensils and hygiene items

Supplies Supplies

Hamid with his family outside their temporary home in the Al Jamea’a camp in Baghdad


Shelter Shelter

UNHCR distributes additional drinking water in the hotter months


Get the facts about our impact

Supplies Supplies Supplies
Shelter Shelter Shelter
Food Food Food
Protection Protection Protection
Medicine Medicine Medicine
Cash Assistance Cash Assistance Cash Assistance

Providing Supplies

UNHCR distributes life-sustaining items such as mattresses, blankets, kitchen sets, jerry cans, stoves and fuel, soap and other sanitary items to refugees under its care. These supplies are tailored to the specific needs of the refugee population: for example, winterisation kits are distributed in camps and communities where sub-zero temperatures occur. UNHCR maintains global stockpiles of core relief items for immediate delivery in emergency situations.

After fleeing their homes with few possessions, displaced Iraqi families have little to keep them warm through the winter when temperatures can plummet to minus 16 degrees Celsius. During the winter months, UNHCR provides hundreds of thousands of Iraqis with ‘winterisation’ kits containing thermal blankets, quilts, a heating stove, kerosene, and a plastic sheet for insulation.

Providing Shelter

UNHCR provides refugees with emergency shelter — tents, tarpaulins and demountable housing — in the immediate aftermath of displacement. More broadly, we are responsible for site planning and camp management to ensure refugee settlements are economically, socially and environmentally sustainable. For those living outside camps, UNHCR funds the rehabilitation of communal shelters, the construction of new homes and rental assistance for those in urban situations. UNHCR also provides materials that displaced people need to build a home themselves under self-help schemes.

Seasonal extremes are a major concern for displaced Iraqis living in non-permanent dwellings. UNHCR is working with local authorities to set up emergency shelters and provide families with tents, plastic sheeting and mattresses. This has included the delivery of close to a thousand family tents to a new camp for displaced people near Duhok in the Kurdistan region. We are also involved in the planning and construction of future camps as they are needed.

Providing Food 

Malnutrition is a common consequence of conflict and displacement. UNHCR works with the World Food Programme (WFP) to ensure that all refugees have access to adequate nutrient-rich food. UNHCR assists with the distribution of food rations in camps and provide urban refugees with vouchers and cash assistance for the purchase of food and groceries. In acute situations, UNHCR supports emergency nutrition and therapeutic feeding programs, supplying fortified milks and ready-to-use therapeutic foods.

Providing Protection

Children and families fleeing violence, war, disaster or persecution can be very vulnerable. UNHCR supplies displaced people with essential items, food and shelter to protect them from having to make dangerous decisions to survive. On a larger scale, UNHCR negotiates safe passage, asylum spaces and humanitarian access, upholding the rights of refugees and minimising the threat of violence, including sexual assault.

Part of UNHCR’s work in emergencies is identifying vulnerable groups such as the elderly, the disabled, pregnant women, and children to receive special protection services. Protection teams are stationed at transit centres to carry out this work and to ensure people have safe passage out of the conflict zone. In the camps for internally displaced people (IDPs), camp management includes making sure that the most endangered inhabitants are protected from violence and exploitation.

Providing Medication

UNHCR facilitates access to basic healthcare for refugees through camp clinics and local healthcare providers. Priority health services include emergency medical care for those who have suffered violence, reproductive services and treatment for infants and the elderly. UNHCR also coordinates immunisation programs to prevent the spread of diseases in crowded refugee settings.

Providing Cash Assistance

Most refugees live in places where they have access to markets and services in the same way that local communities do. Providing refugees with cash, by way of a secure biometric system, enables them to make decisions about their personal needs. This also helps prevent refugees being forced into desperate measures such as undertaking dangerous journeys, taking children out of school or survival sex. Cash assistance also helps refugees to support the local economy, aiding social integration.

UNHCR uses cash-based interventions to provide relief and assistance to the most vulnerable displaced Iraqis. Cash and vouchers help families prioritise their own needs in areas like food, water, healthcare and shelter, and allow them to build and support their livelihoods.

Get the latest statistics on the emergency in Iraq.

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You can help

Make a donation

Every donation makes a real and lasting difference in the lives of refugees.

Organise a fundraiser

Host a bake sale, climb a mountain or do a fun run to raise funds for vital aid.