Better living conditions in Iraq

Better living conditions for refugees and locals in Iraq

More than four million Iraqis are internally displaced, having fled the terror of the organisation calling itself Islamic State. According to UN estimates, one third of them have gone to the Kurdistan-Iraq region in northern Iraq. In addition, 250,000 people from Syria have fled to northern Iraq. In many districts, there are now more refugees than local people.

Supporting local authorities

The Kurdistan Regional Government, with assistance from the international community, is undertaking enormous efforts to meet the refugees' needs. In the Province of Dohuk alone, 18 refugee camps for up to 50,000 people each have been set up, and there are plans for further camps.

On behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) is working in the camps in the Dohuk region. Working in close cooperation with Welthungerhilfe, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and local organisations, GIZ is supporting local authorities' infrastructure development efforts.

For instance, five health posts have been set up in the camps. GIZ has also worked with UNICEF to build seven schools and provide equipment for them. Three further schools are being built in Dohuk and Zakho. Psychosocial support and legal advice for refugees are focus aspects in Germany's programmes. Community centres have been set up for this purpose in six camps. All these activities help improve the living conditions of internally displaced people, refugees and locals.

German Development Minister Gerd Müller made a commitment regarding this project to the Kurdistan Regional Government when he visited northern Iraq in October 2014. So far, the BMZ has provided a total of 37 million euros for this effort. Over the next two years, the successful activities under this project are to be continued and expanded.

Some examples of activities carried out so far