The region is under severe pressure due to the influx of Syrian refugees and Iraqi internally displaced persons.


The region has become a melting pot of displaced persons with some 230,000 Iraqis fleing their homes in search of safety and the influx of aproximately 215,000 Syrian refugees.

Country Overview

Today, Iraqi Kurdistan is facing two crises -- the influx of both Syrian refugees and Iraqi internally displaced persons (IDPs). 

In Iraq, the recent fighting in several parts of the country's north has caused the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people and a sharp deterioration in the humanitarian situation. Since the beginning of June 2014, more than 700,000 people have fled. Movements of displaced populations are difficult to assess due to the rapidly changing situation on the ground, impacting the humanitarian response. Our teams continue emergency operations to meet the needs of the displaced. We are conducting food distributions and supplying IDPs with water in several locations, running latrine cleaning operations, and promoting hygiene to reduce the risk of waterborne diseases.

The Syrian crisis has become the worst humanitarian disaster of the early 21st century. More than 150,000 Syrians have died, 6.5 million are displaced within their home country, and nearly three million have fled to nearby countries.

People we helped in 2016

What we are doing

Action Against Hunger has been in the Kurdistan region of Iraq since 2013, when we responded to a sudden mass influx of people fleeing Syria. It was later at the forefront of the response to the mass displacement of Iraqis in 2014 when IS took control of part of Iraq and our team in Dohuk helped people fleeing fighting. 

In Iraqi Kurdistan, where 215,000 Syrian refugees have settled, Action Against Hunger is focusing our operational response in several camps--Kawergosk, Qushtapa, Darashakran, Basirma and Gawilan--through various projects including ones focused on water, sanitation, and hygiene, as well as on mental health for at-risk members of the population like pregnant and nursing women and children under age five.

As of July 2016, more than 230,000 Iraqis have fled their homes in search of safety following the escalation of the military campaign towards Mosul.

Our emergency team have been deployed to Erbil and have designed a flexible response strategy to respond swiftly to the rapidly evolving situation.Our mobile teams will operate from Dohuk and Erbil in areas north and east of Mosul. We are ready to deliver emergency supplies such as food, water and sanitation equipment. We’re also prearing to provide psychological support to help children recover from the traumatic experiences they’ve been through.

“Our main challenge is to anticipate population movements and reach those fleeing the fighting,” said Charlotte Schneider, head of emergency at Action Against Hunger. “We have identified probable displacement routes and our emergency stocks are ready, but the situation could evolve quickly.” 


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Photo credits: ©Lys Arango for Action Against Hunger

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