Building Peaceful Futures Program - Iraq

Armed conflict in Iraq has impacted millions of Iraqis with widespread displacement, destruction of infrastructure and decreased stability. The United Nations has estimated that up to 11 million Iraqis will require humanitarian assistance in 2018, including 5.1 million children. Since January 2014, nearly 3.2 million Iraqis have been internally displaced, some multiple times, and more 66,500 Iraqi civilians have been killed in the conflict. The scale of protection needs in Iraq are so great the UN has described the situation in the country as a ‘protection crisis’.

To help address this, the Australia Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), launched a $100 million support package designed to meet the humanitarian needs of the most vulnerable conflict-affected populations in Iraq. Under the package activities are designed to address short and medium-term humanitarian needs of affected populations, with a particular focus on humanitarian assistance, rapid recovery and stabilisation activities in liberated areas (including rehabilitation of essential public services and economic opportunities), and reconciliation and social cohesion. This humanitarian package includes a $20 million component for the Australian Humanitarian Partnership.

Working through a consortium arrangement, AHP partner Save the Children Australia has partnered with CARE Australia, Handicap International (HI), the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and the University of Duhok’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies in Iraq to support the return and reintegration of communities in Ninewa (Northern Iraq) and Kirkuk (Central Iraq) and improve local resilience through inclusive access to essential protection, water, sanitation and hygiene, and primary and sexual reproductive health services. 

Save the Children Australia Consortium

The Save the Children consortium project aims to assist more than 100,000 people who are returning to their previously war-torn towns and villages and are starting to rebuild their lives. The project will focus on essential protection services, the provision of water, sanitation and hygiene services (including provision of fresh water and latrines), establishing primary and reproductive health services and providing important legal support to returning families. The majority of activities will be delivered through Community Centres, established in each of the target districts, which will also provide space for conflict affected and vulnerable people, including women, people with disabilities (PWD), youth and children to meet, discuss their challenges and identify solutions. These centres will provide referral mechanisms for essential services and will strengthen social capital and cohesion and provide linkages with local government.   

The Save the Children project targets more than 100,000 people through interventions designed to support safe, voluntary and dignified return of Iraqi families to their towns and villages. These interventions include:

Information, counselling and legal assistance through the community centres to assist people to return to their homes and register for humanitarian assistance;

Protection focal points will work with returnees and advise on appropriate services available for assistance based on family and individual needs;

Water, sanitation and hygiene interventions will include immediate assistance through household water treatment, the rehabilitation of public water points and the provision of water and sanitation infrastructure in 23 schools;

Multi-purpose cash grants will be provided to vulnerable families, such as female headed households and people with disabilities, delivered at strategic times to support school fees or the winterisation needs of families;

Primary health care support will be provided through the training of 40 community health volunteers who will identify and refer cases to health centres, including gender-based-violence survivors and at-risk children, and provide essential information at the household level about nutrition, sanitation and hygiene services, disability awareness and other essential service referral information.

Iraq, 2018-2020Clare Price