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Iraq crisis

Iraq crisis

Millions of  people fled their homes as a result of fighting in central and northern Iraq. 

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

Oxfam has reached over two million people. This includes water, cash and hygiene items.

You can help:

Donate to Oxfam's response in Iraq   

Last updated 6/7/2018

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.

The situation

Since the ousting of Saddam Hussein in 2003, the Iraqi population of around 33 million has only been subject to short periods of relative peace as competing interests struggle for control. Since 2014 ISIS have seized control of large areas of the country, including several major cities. Millions of Iraqis have fled their homes. There are currently 2.5 million displaced people in Iraq, including 500,000 refugees. So far, 3.8 million people have returned to their homes. Some families chose to stay or go back to the camps due to limitations in shelter, basic services, livelihood opportunities and security concerns.

The city of Mosul has been retaken from ISIS by the Iraqi Security Forces. Mosul (the second most populated city in Iraq) and its surrounding areas had been under the control of ISIS since June 2014.

Mosul residents are starting to return home, of the 900,000 people that have fled over 200,000 people have already gone back to rebuild their lives. These families continue to face severe risks from revenge attacks and explosives, and a lack of clean water, healthcare, and other basic services. Men, women and children returning to Mosul must be supported with adequate information, guarantees of security, aid from humanitarian agencies, and access to social services.

Latest from Oxfam in Iraq

One year on from conflict the dream of a better Mosul remains distant for many

One year after Mosul was retaken from ISIS, thousands of people are still unable to return home as parts of the city remain severely damaged and lack running water or electricity, Oxfam said today.

'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

Oxfam in Iraq

We have reached almost two million people all over Iraq, including more that 600,000 people in the governorate of Ninewa and 99,000 people in Mosul city.

Oxfam is providing aid to those in need, which includes providing water, sanitation facilities, protection services, health promotion sessions and cash. Oxfam works with internally displaced people, returnees and remainees in five governorates.

We are also rehabilitating water infrastructure, providing sanitation facilities and supporting hygiene promotion activities.

We are supporting people by helping them to work and earn money, and also providing information and regular community dialog sessions. 

As the frontline recedes, Oxfam plans to expand operations to include new areas in Central Iraq.

Oxfam in Mosul 

Since the campaign to retake Mosul began, Oxfam has helped more than 300,000 people affected by the conflict. Oxfam provides life-saving food, water, and protection in camps and neighbourhoods throughout Mosul district. Work to rehabilitate the Gazlani water plant has established the first native source of clean water in western Mosul city.

You can help:

Donate to Oxfam's response in Iraq   

Other ways to help