Dutch organizations support 170.000 war victims in Iraq

In March the Dutch Relief Alliance (DRA) started humanitarian operations to assist 170.000 highly vulnerable Iraqi civilians affected by the ongoing military operations in Mosul and the Tigris corridor. Displaced families as well as returnees receive immediate protection support, emergency health care as well as access to safe water and sanitation.

These operations are implemented by twelve Dutch humanitarian organizations. They work closely together to save lives, assist the most vulnerable women, children and men, and to improve local resilience. Cordaid is the lead organization of this Joint Response, which is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is the third phase of the Joint Response. Starting March 1st it will continue until December 31st of this year.

This third phase is a continuation of the collaboration among DRA members in Iraq that started in January 2015. In previous phases we reached more than 450.000 people affected by conflict in the country.

In the third phase the DRA will focus its efforts on the increasing number of people fleeing their homes in the Mosul and Hawiga district. Hawiga was subject to intensifying airstrikes in the last months of 2016 as part of the operation to oust ISIS from the region. An estimated 50.000 people fled the area, many of whom are now accommodated in camps for internally displaced people in the Kirkuk governorate.

To date the Mosul crisis alone, which started in October last year, has displaced over 200.000 people. As ISIS is being ousted in Western Mosul, IDPs continue to flee the city by the thousands every day.

The DRA Joint Response will provide life-saving assistance to those who are either fleeing military hostilities or returning to recently liberated areas as well as to conflict-affected host communities. Ignacio Arteche, Cordaid humanitarian coordinator and overall coordinator of the Joint Response in Iraq says: “As the situation in Northern Iraq is extremely volatile, new needs arise every day. The combined expertise and the geographical spread of the DRA members enable us to meet a wide range of needs. As new areas are liberated and humanitarian access is made possible, we are constantly assessing possibilities to alleviate the suffering in new areas.”

The following services and activities are part of the Joint Response 3rd phase:


  • Critical emergency health care, including front line trauma care.
  • Essential health services for pregnant and lactating women.
  • Immunization for children.
  • Upgrading health facilities in conflict zones.
  • Supplying medicines and medical equipment.


  • Psychosocial first aid; emergency case management for survivors of gender-based violence.
  • Immediate referral services for girls and boys at risk, especially unaccompanied children.
  • Assisting people with registration procedures and finding safe locations.

Water, sanitation and hygiene

  • Providing emergency drinking water, emergency latrines, showers, water tanks and hygiene items.
  • Repairing damaged water infrastructure.
  • Setting up basic waste collection systems and cleaning sanitation facilities.

The Dutch Relief Alliance
The Dutch Relief Alliance responds to major humanitarian crises in a timely and effective manner. The Alliance is a cooperation of 14 Dutch NGO’s, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In Iraq the emergency aid is provided by: Care Nederland, Cordaid, Dorcas, ICCO & Kerk in Actie, Oxfam Novib, Save the Children, Stichting Vluchteling, Tearfund NL, Terre des Hommes, War Child, World Vision, ZOA.

28 March 2017

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