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Medical care for displaced people

Since the outbreak of the crisis in Iraq in January 2014 around 3.1 Million people have been displaced inside the country. Their need is classified as ‘high’ in most of the places where they have found refuge. Providing them with the humanitarian aid that they need is a huge challenge. Many areas are extremely difficult to access  - significantly hampering efforts.

Intensified fighting between ISIS and Iraqi forces, supported by militia and an international coalition, has led to instability in the front lines, accompanied by new waves of population displacement. Most of these internally displaced people (IDPs) have fled into the semiautonomous Kurdistan Region: seeking shelter in places like Dohuk and Erbil. Malteser International’s emergency relief mission has been underway there since August 2014 in cooperation with the Directorate of Health in Dohuk and our local partner organization, the Turkmenili Cooperation and Cultural Foundation (TCCF) in Erbil.

Malteser International is implementing and coordinating activities in the health sector in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region, focused on providing drugs and medical supplies for IDPs living outside the camps in the city, where a mobile medical team operated by our partner TCCF treats around 120 people every day.

Insecurity has caused around 500,000 people to flee to the Dohuk Region, where around 25 camps for Internally Displaced People have been set up. During January 2015, in cooperation with the Directorate of Health, Malteser International began operation of a basic Health Unit serving 10,000 people in the refugee camp Bersevi II. This camp hosts mainly Yazidis, a religious group that is persecuted with extreme cruelty by ISIS. In June 2015 another Primary Health Care Unit was opened at the Kadia Camp, currently home to 15,000 displaced persons.

A further Primary Health Center was equipped in Zumar, part of the Governorate of Nineveh during June 2015, thanks to support from the Global Fund for Forgotten People. By the end of 2015, the region had been liberated by Kurdish forces, and is now being operated by the Directorate of Health once again to support returnees.

  • Emergency aid for particularly vulnerable displaced persons (religious minorities, particularly Christians and Yezidis, widows, young children, the elderly, people with disabilities) in the Kurdistan region in northern Iraq 
  • Primary health care for displaced persons in the Kurdistan region in northern Iraq
  • Procurement and distribution of drugs and medical supplies through the local health authorities.
  • Deployment of three mobile medical teams with ambulances in and around Erbil.
  • Two distributions of hygiene kits for 500 families in high need.
  • Management of medical facilities for internally displaced people at Camp Kadia and Camp Bersevi II, as well as further training of specialist personnel.

Country info

Capital: Bagdad
Area: 437,072 km²
Population: c. 33.4 Million

Project data

Project duration: since February 2016 until April 2018
: German Federal Foreign Office, ADH - Germany's Relief Coalition, The Global Fund for Forgotten People, private donations
rs: Turkmenili Cooperation and Cultural Foundation, Department of Health Dohouk, German Federal Agency for Technical Relief , GIZ

Last updated: August 2016

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