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Nearly a million people were displaced as a result of the battle for control of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city that fell to the Islamic State, or ISIL. More than 10 million people are estimated to be in need of humanitarian assistance. Access to many families remains a constant challenge, as fighting and instability continue and parts of the country are still held by ISIL.
Violence and armed conflict is widespread in Iraq and has left an estimated 10 million people in need
Conflict has forced more than 3 million people from their homes since January 2014. Many of them have been displaced more than once
Intense fighting and insecurity, particularly in areas held by ISIL, make it difficult for humanitarian organizations to access vulnerable communities with lifesaving assistance
In the Kurdish Region of Iraq, we provide primary health care and basic reproductive health services in refugee camps and camps for internally displaced Iraqis in the Erbil, Dohuk, and Ninewa governorates. We also look to support those in out of camp settlements in hard-to-reach or underserved areas through our mobile medical units (MMUs) in both the Kurdish Region as well as South Central Iraq—specifically Baghdad and Anbar governorates. We are running medical clinics in displacement camps and supporting primary health care centers south and and east of Mosul to support families who were forced to flee their homes.
Recruited from the communities we serve, community health workers (CHWs) are trained to provide basic educational material and messaging on common diseases. They go tent-to-tent in camps and door-to-door in urban areas and hard-to-reach villages in Baghdad, Erbil, Dohuk, Anbar and Ninewa governorates to connect families to our primary health, mental health and gender-based violence services. They also conduct disease surveillance, promote health awareness and encourage visits to available health care services among those living in risk-prone communities.
We work with local partner organizations to provide psychosocial activities in safe spaces for women and girls as well as gender-based violence (GBV) case management support. We link these activities closely with our primary health care network, ensuring that those in need have access to a variety of services, including medical care and mental health support, even in hard-to-reach areas through MMUs. At the same time, GBV outreach workers run community-based prevention and response campaigns, identify vulnerable women and girls, inform them of available services and make referrals if needed.
International Medical Corps provides mental health and psychosocial (MHPSS) services as part of basic general health care for displaced populations across Iraq. We offer mental health care in our MMUs and primary health care facilities, while also using house-to-house outreach to link people with our clinic-based services. We also train Department of Health personnel, health care providers, and other first responders in Psychological First Aid (PFA), a technique used to ensure people who have experienced highly stressful or traumatic events are received in a compassionate and culturally sensitive way.
With funding from the Canadian Government, International Medical Corps is establishing two multi-service centers in Iraq where people can access a range of health, mental health and psychosocial services. This includes general medical consultations, mental health and psychosocial counseling, GBV case management and recreational and skills-building activities like hairdressing, tailoring, photography, baking and cosmetology.
International Medical Corps developed a series of comic books for children displaced by the conflict in Syria and Iraq in order to teach them important messages about disease prevention, safety in camps and about how to promote their well-being. The comic book Going Home Again tells the story of a Syrian boy named Ahmed who is forced to flee from his village after fighting breaks out and a military plane drops bombs on his neighborhood.READ MORE