Cookies on oxfam

We use cookies to ensure that you have the best experience on our website. If you continue browsing, we’ll assume that you are happy to receive all our cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more Close

Iraq crisis

Iraq crisis

Over 3.4 million people have fled their homes as a result of fighting in central and northern Iraq and over ten million people are in need of humanitarian aid due to the ongoing crisis. 

Families that have fled their homes and those that have returned home remain in desperate need of food, shelter, medicine and water.

Oxfam aims to reach around 260,000 people with lifesaving assistance.

You can help:

Donate to Oxfam's response in Iraq   

Sam Tarling

Nisr Amr, sits with his son in the ruins of his father's house in the village of Imam Gharbi, south of Mosul, Iraq. The house was destroyed by Islamic State, when they took control of the village in 2014. The army re-took the village in August.

Oxfam's Iraq Country Representative Andres Gonzalez Rodriguez says:


Our priority is to be ready to assist with crucial aid and try to be ahead of the situation by ensuring we are in the right place to deliver timely assistance to the most vulnerable conflict-affected populations.

The situation

Hundreds of thousands of civilians risk being caught in crossfire as the offensive to retake Mosul and surrounding areas from ISIS intensifies

Oxfam is very concerned for the safety of 750,000 people living in western Mosul when fighting begins. We are calling on all armed forces to take all possible measures to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure like hospitals. This includes providing genuinely safe escape routes and avoiding the use of heavy explosive weapons in populated areas. The humanitarian situation in western Mosul is deteriorating. Supply routes have been cut off creating siege-like conditions. Reports suggest that food and fuel prices are soaring, and the supply of water and electricity is intermittent at best. Extra health facilities to cope with a potentially high number of civilian casualties from the fighting are urgently needed.

More than 200,000 people have already fled fighting in and around eastern Mosul since 17 October 2016, and as many as 250,000 people could flee western Mosul in the coming weeks. A number of camps are already full and there is not currently enough space for an influx of this size. Basic services like clean water, toilets, blankets and heaters were lacking in camps for people who fled eastern Mosul and we are concerned this may happen again when people flee the we


Families face a terrible choice between staying in ISIS-controlled areas where many have reportedly suffered extreme violence and food shortages, or risk explosive devices and bullets to escape the fighting.

More than 10 million people - half of them children - are in need of humanitarian assistance in Iraq, and 3.4 million people have been displaced by conflict

Latest from Oxfam in Iraq

Fears for 750,000 people trapped in western Mosul as battle draws near

An estimated 750,000 people are trapped in western Mosul without any safe means of escape from the latest military offensive that could start any day, Oxfam warned today. Humanitarian conditions in the west of the city are deteriorating after supply... Read more

Population three quarters the size of UK in need of aid across Middle East

More than 47 million people are in need of humanitarian aid in the Middle East at the close of 2016, equivalent to three quarters of the UK population, Oxfam said today.

‘We just came from the dead’ – families describe their escape from Mosul as the number fleeing triples

Families are suffering appalling injuries and traumas to escape the fighting in Mosul as the number fleeing more than triples in the space of a week. Oxfam and other humanitarian agencies are working to ensure that the support in camps and communities... Read more

Future of 1.2 million civilians in Mosul hangs in the balance, aid agencies warn

As foreign ministers prepare to discuss the Mosul offensive in Paris today, Oxfam along with Save the Children, the International Rescue Committee and the Norwegian Refugee Council have released this statement: 

Civilians risk getting caught in crossfire as Mosul offensive intensifies

Hundreds of thousands of civilians risk being caught in crossfire as the offensive to retake Mosul and surrounding areas from ISIS intensifies, Oxfam said today.

Oxfam in Iraq

We are currently delivering aid supplies to communities south of Mosul and getting supplies ready in case of an influx of people fleeing western Mosul in the coming weeks. Oxfam is providing clean water, blankets and other vital aid to families who have fled ISIS-held areas in both camps and the communities in which they are sheltering. This includes installing water tanks and maintaining toilet blocks in Hassansham camp, and rehabilitating water pumping stations to supply tens of thousands of people. We have also supported trauma centres in the east of Mosul and continue to support health centres with water and sanitation supplies.

Oxfam has also been supporting families who have fled conflict in 50 villages and towns across Diyala and Kirkuk governorates - south and east of Mosul - since 2014. We are providing safe water in camps and in communities where people who have fled the fighting are sheltering, and enabling people to earn a living so that they can support their families. In one case we found over 100 people living together in a derelict barn without clean water. Oxfam was able to install a water system and partitions to give families some privacy.

Oxfam has reached more than 67,000 people since the start of the Mosul response.


Oxfam is calling on all sides in the conflict to provide genuinely safe escape routes so civilians can flee the fighting. All the armed forces must avoid the use of heavy explosive weapons in populated areas and do everything possible to protect civilians, whether they are staying in Mosul or fleeing the city.  All those fleeing violence should be treated fairly without bias on the basis of tribal, ethnic, religious or political identity.

You can help:

Donate to Oxfam's response in Iraq   

Other ways to help