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Iraq

Handicap International provides emergency relief for displaced Iraqis and Syrian refugees, alongside its long-term projects, providing support for manufacturing prostheses, delivering physiotherapy and raising awareness about landmines.

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Handicap International provides emergency relief for displaced Iraqis and Syrian refugees, alongside its long-term projects, providing support for manufacturing prostheses, delivering physiotherapy and raising awareness about landmines.
Handicap International provides emergency relief for displaced Iraqis and Syrian refugees, alongside its long-term projects, providing support for manufacturing prostheses, delivering physiotherapy and raising awareness about landmines.

Our actions

Handicap International has been working in Iraq for over 20 years, offering its expertise to organisations making prostheses and delivering physiotherapy, and campaigning against mines and explosive remnants of war (assisting victims and raising awareness of the risks posed by these weapons). The organisation is also working to advance the rights of people with disabilities and improve their living conditions.

Since June 2014, Handicap International has been working with people in Iraq displaced following attacks launched by armed groups. People with disabilities and the most vulnerable groups who have taken refuge in Iraqi Kurdistan are cared for by mobile rehabilitation teams. Depending on their needs, they are provided with mobility aids (crutches, walkers, and wheelchairs, etc.), rehabilitation care, and/or are referred and transported, if necessary, to organisations offering the aid they require.

Since June 2014, Handicap International has also been assisting Syrian refugees in the governorate of Erbil. The objective is to ensure that people with disabilities and people considered to be particularly vulnerable have access to humanitarian aid. The mobile teams also distribute mobility aids such as crutches, walkers and wheelchairs. The Disability and Vulnerability Focal Points (DVFP) ensure that the most vulnerable have access to humanitarian aid, notably by mapping existing services.

More than 63,000 people have already benefited from Handicap International's emergency actions.

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Background

Iraq has suffered from a succession of political crises, wars, and series of attacks over the last 35 years. The majority of victims are civilians.

Since 1979 when Saddam Hussein took power, Iraq has experienced three murderous wars, a series of bloody repressions including those of the Kurds and Shi'ites, and a trade embargo lasting over ten years. In April 2003, a coalition led by the United States and the United Kingdom toppled Saddam Hussein's regime. This third Gulf war officially ended on the 1st May 2003, but a string of terrorist attacks and political crises ensued. Between March 2003 and January 2012, 250,000 civilians were affected by armed violence. Iraq is considered to be one of the countries in the world most severely contaminated by landmines and cluster munitions.

In June 2014, attacks by armed groups caused significant population displacements. According to the International Organization for Migration, 2.5 million people have taken refuge in the regions in the north of the country, including 980,000 in Iraqi Kurdistan.

The first estimates by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees indicate that 40% of these refugees meet the vulnerability criteria and that the health services in these regions have been pushed to the limit in terms of capacity. Handicap International has been working in Iraqi Kurdistan since 1991 supporting displaced persons with injuries or disabilities.

The aim is to meet their specific needs and ensure that they have access to humanitarian aid. Handicap International also supports other organisations - NGOs, local and regional authorities - to ensure that the specific needs of people with disabilities and vulnerable people are taken into account in the humanitarian response.

Iraq key figures - Handicap International
Iraq key figures - Handicap International
WHERE your support HELPS

Partners

  • Improving access to rehabilitation services in northern Iraq

    Physical rehabilitation centres in the region, including the Kurdish Organisation for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled, the Teaching Children Rehabilitation Centre in Sulaymaniyah and the Early Detection of Childhood Disabilities Centre in Dohuk.

    • Seven disabled people’s organisations (DPO) and community-based associations responsible for the administration and coordination of “Disability Information Points”: Nujeen / Democratizing The Family Organisation, Thalassemia Association, Rozh Society for Handicapped, Zheen Society for Physical Handicap, the Association of Protecting the Rights of Mentally Handicapped in Kurdistan (KRRPS), Blinds Association, Short Statures Association and the Iraqi Alliance of Disability Organizations (IADO).

    Emergency response to the Syrian crisis

    Project undertaken in partnership with the Danish Refugee Council

    Emergency response for internally displaced persons – Protection and healthcare

    KORD Rehabilitation Centre (Kalar), Biladi Association (Kalar) KORD Rehabilitation Centre (Halabja), Directorate of Health (Kirkuk), Iraqi Kurdistan Mine Action Agency (IKMAA).

    Empowering Syrian refugees with injuries or disabilities

    This project is being undertaken in Iraq in partnership with the Nujeen / Democratizing The Family Organisation.