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Iraq crisis

Iraq crisis

4.2 million people have fled their homes as a result of fighting in central and northern Iraq and over 11 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 is helping over 300,000 people. This includes water, cash and hygiene items.

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 Iraqi 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

Over 700,000 people have had to leave their homes in Mosul. The Iraqi government forces have now retaken the majority of the city and have recently opened up a new front from the north to stretch ISIS. On one day, a staggering 16,000 people fled to Hamam alil camp where Oxfam is providing water. 


A number of camps are already full and influxes of this size pose huge challenges. Those forced to flee the city need basic services like clean water, toilets, blankets and heaters.


Families in Iraq 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 11 million people - half of them children - are in need of humanitarian assistance in Iraq, and 4.2 million people have been displaced by conflict.

Latest from Oxfam in Iraq

'The road smelled of dead bodies' - People fleeing Tal Afar tell of death in the desert

Traumatised women and children fleeing the Tal Afar district have told Oxfam how people died walking for days through the desert in 50C heat to reach safety.

Reaction to the launch of an offensive to retake Tal Afar from ISIS

Responding to today's announcement by the government of Iraq that they have launched a major push to retake the city of Tal Afar from ISIS, Oxfam's Deputy Country Director in Iraq, Haissam Minkara said: "Traumatised families... Read more

Reaction to news that Mosul has been retaken

Responding to an announcement by the Iraqi Security Forces on 9th July 2017 that they have retaken the city of Mosul from ISIS, Oxfam's Country Director in Iraq, Andres Gonzalez said:'The retaking of Mosul will no doubt inspire hope among... Read more

Reaction to news that Mosul has been retaken

Responding to an announcement by the Iraqi Security Forces on 9th July 2017 that they have retaken the city of Mosul from ISIS, Oxfam's Country Director in Iraq, Andres Gonzalez said: 'The retaking of Mosul will no doubt inspire hope... Read more

People fleeing Mosul offensive need genuinely safe escape routes

Commenting on news reports this weekend that Iraqi security forces are asking people to leave the Old City of Mosul as a new offensive has been launched, Oxfam's Country Director in Iraq, Andres Gonzalez, said: "The people of Mosul... Read more

Oxfam in Iraq

We are currently delivering aid supplies to communities south of Mosul and are providing front line assistance as people flee the city. 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 269,000 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