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Children affected by conflict: 3.6 million

Budget spent: €607,538

Number of partner organisations: Two

Number of projects:  One

Total child participants: 7,880* (approximate - no gender breakdown)

Total adult participants: 4,376* (approximate - no gender breakdown)

Iraq has been beset by violence and instability since President Saddam Hussein was ousted in 2003. Today government forces and armed groups - most notably Islamic State - are engaged in fierce territorial battles. Car bombs, assassinations and armed assaults are part of daily life in Iraq. Children bear witness to sadistic acts of violence.

Humanitarian conditions in the country continued to deteriorate over the course of 2016. The final months of the year saw a wide-ranging offensive by Iraqi troops backed by US-led air strikes to regain control of Mosul from Islamic State fighters. The military operations forced thousands of civilians - the majority of whom were children - to flee their homes. UN figures claim 190,000 people were displaced as a result of the recent fighting in the city.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimates that more than 1.8 million people are internally displaced in Iraq - with more than 850,000 of them having been displaced since January 2014. Many of these people are forced to find shelter in public buildings such as mosques, churches and schools.


War Child has continued to make a significant response to the humanitarian joint response in Northern Iraq. We continue to operate the five Child Friendly Spaces that were established in 2015 - reaching over 2,800 children with recreational activities.

More than 750 children participated in our DEALS life-skills programme over the summer. The programming was extremely well-received and proved useful for the children, particularly those who were acutely affected by violence. Some children were forced to drop out before the end of the programme, however, as their families moved to new areas.

Psychosocial support for conflict-affected children is currently being provided by two psychologists operating within refugee camps. The severity of the trauma some children have experienced often results in many of them being unwilling or unable to leave their tents; in these cases, the psychologists visit children directly at their homes.


The humanitarian context inside Iraq continues to pose challenges to rolling out operations - particularly with regard to security and economic considerations.


War Child Holland supports the work of War Child UK inside Northern Iraq to provide vulnerable children with protection and psychosocial support. We mainly focus on children from internally displaced families who've arrived in Northern Iraq as a result of the violence elsewhere in the country.

Northern Iraq Joint Response 2: Programme to support vulnerable internally displaced children with psychosocial support and child protection services inside Northern Iraq. This programme is operated by the Dutch Relief Alliance (DRA) - an alliance of fourteen NGOs funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA). War Child participates in this programme as part of the DRA.