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IRAQ AND
IRAQI KURDISTAN

Since 2003, Iraq has faced a succession of crises and conflicts that have severely affected the population. Since 2014 and the emergence of the Islamic State (IS) in the northern and western areas, the security situation has considerably deteriorated. Part of the population had to flee, either in internally displaced persons’ (IDP) camps or abroad. Other stayed and had to live for several years under the occupation of the group. In 2016, the Iraqi government regained possession of the entire country, but it is still facing many structural issues.

On October 1st, 2019, large-scale social protests erupted in Baghdad and then spread to the south of the country. Initially focused on specific issues such as youth unemployment, poverty and corruption, the demonstrators' demands gradually shifted towards a general desire to overhaul Iraq's socio-political system. Several hundreds of demonstrators were killed due to the repression of the demonstrations by the security forces. The protests were constrained by the COVID-19 pandemic and the establishment of a new government in May 2020.

Iraq is now facing new challenges, including economic and socio-political ones. These challenges must be addressed in order to build a lasting peace and to ensure the security of a divided country, marked by the aftermath of chronic wars. Furthermore, Iraq is the battleground of competing countries, in particular the United States and Iran. During Donald Trump’s presidency, the Iranian-American relations deteriorated. Indeed, Trump applied a policy of maximum pressure against Iran, illustrated by the withdrawal of his country from the Iranian nuclear agreement (JCPOA) and the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleymani in Baghdad in January 2020. This tension is expressed in Iraq where Iraqi bases housing American forces are regularly attacked by Iraqi militias supported by Iran, destabilising the country.

In total, nearly 6 million Iraqis have been displaced by the conflict since 2014¹, when ISIS took Mosul. As of 30th September 2021, almost 1.2 million Iraqis were still displaced across the country². They have sought to refuge in camps located mainly in the Governorate of Nineveh, near Mosul, as well as in urban areas, particularly in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region. In addition to these displaced population, refugees from neighbouring countries, mainly from Syria, also seek refuge in Iraq. Insecurity, lack of infrastructure and living conditions deteriorated by the conflict are protracting the exile of displaced populations. Nevertheless, the Iraqi government is today implementing a policy of camp closure and encouraging return. Indeed, in 2021, more than 4.9 million Iraqi people went back to their areas of origin². However, for the returns to be durable and not feeding conflicts, it is necessary that they come with measures allowing access to basic services and livelihoods.

Social and community equilibrium have been severely weakened by the conflict, with a predominant Shia population, a Sunni minority, often perceived as ISIS supporters and other minorities (Yezidis, Christians and many other groups) severely affected by the conflict. Divisions are deep and segregation along community lines is a reality in conflict-affected areas. Despite the recovery of the entire territory occupied by ISIS, dormant cell maintains instability in some areas. Furthermore, former conflict areas remain in a precarious situation: mined land, destroyed homes and buildings, lack of infrastructure and basic public services.

In these circumstances, access to formal education is very limited for many children. Many of them are at-risk and require protection. Difficulties resulting directly from the conflict are adding to the frailty of the educational system, the distance from schools and school fees. The loss of administrative and legal documents, particularly common in conflict situations, prevents access to public services, including education.

50% of schools have been destroyed in the governorates affected by the fight against IS. For the many children who have been out of school for five years or more, reintegration into the mainstream school system is difficult. The majority of out-of-school children are adolescents whose distress is reported by parents and social workers. This population is subject to social marginalisation and is particularly exposed to child labour, early marriage, recruitment into armed groups and is at risk of radicalisation.

In response to these vulnerable situations, TGH is setting up child protection programmes. Through its specific child protection unit, TGH provides psychosocial support to thousands of children and their families in Ninewa Governorate (Baaj, Hatra). TGH coordinates the care and response provided to child protection cases requiring external support (medical NGOs, national child protection services, etc.) to ensure children receive the most appropriate care.

In addition to its child protection activities, TGH is implementing national capacity building for actors involved in child protection, especially the Ministry and the Department of Labour and Social Affairs (MoSA/DoSA). TGH has played a significant role in the development of child protection guidelines in both Iraqi Kurdistan and federal Iraq.

TGH adapts its protection actions to the needs of the population who, following camps closure, are returning to their areas of origin. These returnees are facing new needs and have to develop sustainable livelihoods in order to resettle in a dignified and sustainable manner. To this end, TGH provides, through several projects, vocational training to enable returnees, particularly young people, to develop livelihoods, with for example business creation activities. These trainings are equally offered to non-displaced populations in order to respond to their needs, and to avoid creating tension, while promoting social cohesion.

TGH is also implementing Food Security and Livelihood programmes, focusing on water resources management, rehabilitation of agricultural infrastructures, veterinary care, economic recovery and local empowerment. These programmes aim to rebuild and boost the economy, to support returnees and to stabilise affected areas.

1International Organization for Migration (IOM), Iraq
2International Organization for Migration, displacement tracking matrix, url: http://iraqdtm.iom.int/

CURRENT PROGRAMMES

Temoignage enfant Irak

TESTIMONY

Shathah, 15 years
Salamiyah 1 Camp, Iraq

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Temoignage enfant Irak

TESTIMONY

Manal, 14 years
Salamiyah 2 Camp, Iraq

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Temoignage enfant Irak

CHILD PROTECTION MOSUL EMERGENCY RESPONSE

"I told my family everything about the camp, the Child Friendly Space and TGH team and their efforts to make this reunification happen"

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Skills Development and Innovative Engagement for Young Boys and Girls from IDP, refugee and host communities in Duhok

Food security and livelihood
  • Funding: UNICEF
  • Beneficairies : 800 young people
  • Duration: 9 months - From 0822//2021 to 05/22/2022
  • Total Budget: USD 280,260

Young people in the city of Dohuk have access to vocational training through a youth center so that they can develop job skills and in the long term support themselves by gaining access to employment.

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Support to the Halabja hospital for the treatment of victims of chemical weapons

Education and protection
  • Funding: Centre de Crise et de Soutien (CDCS)
  • Beneficairies : 785 beneficiaries
  • Duration: 10 months - From 09/01/2021 to 06/30/2022
  • Total Budget: EUR 320,000

The project provides capacity building and material support to Halabja hospital for the treatment of victims of chemical weapons. TGH supports the Mental Health department with material and expertise through the project. It also aims to strengthen the coordination between the hospital mental health department and the Department of Social Affairs (DoSA) in Halabja.

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Improving the protective environment for returnees and out-of-camp displaced children and their communities in underserved areas of Ninewa and Sulaymaniyah governorates

Education and protection
  • Funding: Iraq Humanitarian Fund (IHF)
  • Beneficairies : 12 235 beneficiaries
  • Duration: 10 months - From 08/01/2021 to 06/31/2022
  • Total Budget: USD 950,000

The project aims to provide timely, culturally appropriate and gender sensitive child protection and legal services to conflict affected communities, while strengthening community-based mechanisms of risk prevention and response.

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Project to support family farming systems in South Sinjar

Food security and livelihoods
  • Funding: Centre de Crise et de Soutien (CDCS)
  • Beneficairies : 450 household direct - 2700 individuals indirect
  • Duration: 12 months - From 08/01/2021 to 07/31/2022
  • Total Budget: USD 650,000

This project is the second phase of a livelihood support project for returnees and host communities in the Sinjar region. Through the establishment of a digital catalogue for the distribution of inputs and other agricultural material, this project creates favorable conditions for the sustainable return of 450 households to their area of origin.

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Strengthening life skills and expanding livelihood opportunities for vulnerable adolescents and youth in the Governorate of Ninawa

Food security and livelihoods
  • Funding: UNHCR
  • Beneficairies : 850 young people
  • Duration: 8 months - From 06/08/2021 to 02/08/2022
  • Total Budget: USD 356,000

Youth in the city of Mosul have access to vocational training through a youth center so that they can develop job skills and in the long term support themselves by gaining access to employment.

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Group picture of training participants, Erbil, 19 August 2021 © TGH

Strengthening Child Protection Case Management Systems in Iraq

Education and protection
  • Funding: UNHCR
  • Beneficairies : 937 people
  • Duration: 12 months - From 01/01/2021 to 12/31/2021
  • Budget: USD 1,634,071

This project aims to strengthen child protection case management systems in Iraq. TGH is reaching this objective through the capacity development and system strengthening of governmental institutions and national NGO, in Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR-I), Ninewa and Central/South governorates.

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Focus group discussion with breeders. Hamdaniyah district, Ninewa governorate, Irak. June 2019. ©TGH

Economic recovery of micro-entrepreneurship and agriculture in Hamdaniya District

Food security and livelihoods
  • Funding: AFD (French Development Agency)
  • Duration: 40 months - From 02/01/2019 to 04/30/2022
  • Budget: EUR 2,700,000

This programme facilitates access to funding and the rehabilitation of infrastructure related to agriculture, and strengthens social cohesion to contribute to economic and agricultural recovery.

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COMPLETED PROGRAMMES

February 2021 / September 2021

Provision of child-protection and life-saving assistance to children and their families in Baaj and Hatra sub-districts

The project aims at providing culturally appropriate and gender sensitive child protection services to improve departure-affected children's protective environment, well-being, resilience and access to their rights as well as their families’.

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July 2020 / July 2021

Project to support food security in Sinjar in a COVID-19 context

This project falls within the frame of dynamics of reconstruction and relaunch of activities in the district of Sinjar. It aims to improve the agricultural production of young men and women, strengthen the food security of the most vulnerable families and encourage the dynamics of return to the region.

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January 2020 / December 2020

Strengthening child protection case management systems

This project is the continuation of previous TGH’s projects strengthening Child Protection and Child Protection Management. It aims to reinforce child protection practices in the main institutions and support social workers both in Iraq and Kurdistan.

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TGH ongoing protection support to children and their families during Covid-19 outbreak

TGH Iraq mission has been providing much needed protection and livelihood services to children and families since 2013. TGH has been here through the Mosul crisis, the defeat of ISIS, and has maintained its steady presence and support to the vulnerable children and families in Federal Iraq and Kurdish Region of Iraq.

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October 2019 / August 2020

Contribution to the improvement of child and family protection

The project aims to provide culturally appropriate child protection and legal services to Iraqi children and their families, taking into account the age and gender of children affected by the conflict, while strengthening community-based risk prevention and response mechanisms.

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August 2019 / June 2020

Strengthen the community-based Child Protection for conflict-affected children and adolescents

Work towards greater availability of child protection services and mechanisms to combat gender violence, both in the prevention of and response to such violence, including in emergency and post-emergency humanitarian situations.

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May 2019 / February 2020

Protection of water resources and other natural resources in the Sinjar Mountains

To improve the availability of drinking water and irrigation water, TGH is paying more than 400 residents to build water catchment structures on the slopes of the Sinjar Mountains to recharge groundwater levels.

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February 2019 / September 2019

Strengthening child protection case management systems

This programme strengthens child protection case management systems in Iraq (MoLSA and DoSA) and the capacity of social workers in the governorates of Baghdad, Nineveh, Erbil, Dohuk and Souleymanieh, as well as the Legal Clinic Network (LCN) of local NGOs based in Baghdad.

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February 2019 / September 2019

Child protection and legal aid programme in Balad District

This programme improves the environment, well-being, resilience, healthy development and access to rights and learning opportunities for children affected by conflicts. It applies static or mobile approaches depending on the context.

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June 2018 / June 2019

Protection programme for displaced populations

This programme addresses child protection issues in Iraqi IDP camps through individualised follow-up, psychosocial support activities, awareness campaigns and the establishment of community centres for children, adolescents and their families.

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June 2018 / October 2018

Supporting the resilience of the most vulnerable pastoralist households

The overall objective of the programme is to improve the general health status of livestock and reduce the animal mortality rate by developing a free and mobile veterinary care unit in the district of Tilkaif.

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January 2018 / December 2018

Strengthening Child Protection Services

The main objective of this programme is to strengthen the internal systems and capacities of social workers from local NGOs and the Department and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (DoSA & MoLSA), and to improve coordination and communication between DoSA/MoLSA and non-governmental actors.

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January 2018 / November 2018

The professional integration and psychosocial care for children and adolescents

Establishment of a community centre in the underprivileged neighbourhoods of Mosul East to support the stabilization, social cohesion and professional integration of young people.

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April 2018 / May 2018

Maintaining essential child protection

The overall objective of the project is to maintain essential child protection services provided by the TGH teams to displaced populations living through individualised follow-up, psychosocial support activities, and awareness campaigns.

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October 2017 / February 2018

Mobile and community-based child protection services for conflict-affected children

Ensure immediate protection for conflict-affected children in the camps, facilitate and provide them with priority access to psychosocial services through dedicated mobile and static units and the strengthening of local and community capacities.

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August 2017 / April 2018

Support for the return and restoration of access to education for children

This project aims to mitigate the multiple factors that constitute barriers to access to education for children and adolescents in the areas recently taken back from Daesh, by proposing activities adapted to the specific problems of the different children’s profiles.

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