Hygiene promotion in Daquq IDP camp

Iraq: In camps and villages fled families receive water and basic aid


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Iraq has been in a state of crisis for years. The peak: “ISIS’” reign of terror, lasting for three years. 2017 they were officially territorially defeated. In vast parts of the country the relief was immense. Still the people have to be cautious of terrorist attacks and asymmetric fights between armed factions. Again and again, religious and ethnic tensions erupt. Additionally the strained economic situation is a burden for the country. Meanwhile many people who had fled from the violence are preparing themselves for a return to their home villages.
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Humanitarian Help in emergency shelters for expelled families

Since the outbreak of violence under the rule of “ISIS” in 2014, arche noVa is active in Iraq. Beginning with fast distribution of relief goods, our help has evolved into a comprehensive program concentrating especially on the supply of people in refugee camps. Up to 20,000 people in their refuges are supplied with drinking water, sanitary facilities and hygiene articles by us. Our team on-site secures the supply day and night and reacts immediately to changing framework conditions.

During the last couple of years, again and again new refugee movements took place. Most recently in September 2017, as the tensions between the Kurdish regional government and the Iraqi central government erupted in Northern Iraq. arche noVa adjusted to the new situation and became active in additional camps, as further 2,000 people were in need of support.      

Reconstruction will be a huge feat

In the foreseeable future, Humanitarian Help will be needed in Iraq – also in the emergency shelters, which are still heavily occupied even in 2018. Meanwhile international donors as well as the Iraqi government are aspiring to convince the fled families to return to their home villages. But the vision still is more wishful thinking than reality. Many fled families report that it is impossible for them to return to their villages as they would find highly insecure conditions there. In the regions freed from “ISIS” extensive destruction of buildings and infrastructure and missing income opportunities shape the scene. Additionally the security situation is still unstable. The reconstruction of the infrastructure, the economy and the reconciliation among the society will take much time and strength. To improve the situation is an effort of everybody : the affected people, the Iraqi government, the local authorities and the international community.

arche noVa is constructing water systems and sanitary facilities in villages and schools

The local arche noVa team is preparing for new tasks. In the long term we also want to focus on an exit strategy for the people in emergency shelters. arche noVa is going to support the return of families to their homes or settling down in other parts of the country otherwise. The people’s demand is of top priority for our work. Our goal is sustainable help.

Therefore next to our activities in the emergency shelters we have also been engaged in the rural communes for a long time. In accordance to our expertise we are taking care of the reconstruction and rehabilitation of communal water- and sewage systems. We are working in villages where many fled families have found refuge. Step by step we are expanding these activities also on communes that were heavily embattled and destroyed to vast parts. The program contains repair work on water pipelines, wells and sewage disposal systems. We are also renewing the drinking water- and sanitary supply at schools. Altogether around 100,000 people benefit from the construction measures.   

To improve the regional structures long-term, we also support the local water authorities in Kalar. They possess the needed devices and material to control and secure the quality of drinking water. Our local team in Sulimaniyah manages the WASH Focal Point, a committee for authorities and international organisations to arrange their activities in terms of water, sanitary and hygiene.  

Mobile medical teams secure basic medical care in remote communities

In the project area, arche noVa also engages in the sector of basic medical care. At the moment a mobile medical team is working in 17 remote villages near the provincial capital Kalar to supply people suffering from infectious diseases, injuries and easily treatable discomforts. They receive the needed medication at our mobile pharmacy. Especially elderly people and families that cannot afford a doctor’s visit in the next city profit from the free services. In all involved villages residents live right next to fled people. In the meantime the project included up to three mobile teams that were able to reach up to 15,000 people.

A short glance into the organisation’s history of arche noVa proves how strongly we are feeling about the region of Northern Iraq. Iraqi Kurdistan was the objective of the first arche noVa mission during the second Iraq war. This mission led to the foundation of arche noVa. More operations in the region followed: In 1994 and 2003 to 2006.

The ongoing project receives financial means by the Federal Foreign Office and further donor institutions. It is partially financed by the program for development cooperation by the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Poland.  

Donate for this project

sanitary supply for a family in the camp
secure drinking water for 15 people in the camp
daily rate for a mobile medical team

Project Overview

Target Group
  • 22,000 people in emergency shelters
  • 15,000 people with basic medical care
  • 107,000 people by the rehabilitation of the WASH infrastructure
Improvement of the living conditions, especially the supply with water and sanitary and hygiene activities, for internally displaced people in the districts of Diyala, Kirkuk and Sulaimaniyya in Northern Iraq
  • IDP camp Al-Wand (Diyala) with around 725 families: construction, operation and maintenance of the water pipelines, distribution of hygiene kits and trainings in hygiene and healthcare, waste disposal
  • IDP camp Qoratou (Diyala) with around 260 families: establishment of a water supply, maintenance of the sanitary facilities, construction of a sewage system including treatment plant, waste disposal and hygiene trainings
  • IDP camp Daquq (Kirkuk) with around 910 families: operation and maintenance of water pipelines, distribution of hygiene kits and trainings in hygiene and healthcare, waste disposal
  • IDP camp Nazrawa (Kirkuk) with around 1125 families: hygiene promotion
  • IDP camp Barzinja (Sulimaniyah) with around 130 families: operation of water and sanitary supply, installation of water treatment plant, hygiene promotion, waste disposal
  • District of Diyala: operation of three mobile medical teams in an area with around 45,000 people (half of them IDPs), equipment of a health center and a hospital
  • Rehabilitation in communities and schools in Diyala, Kirkuk and Sulimaniyah
  • Support of local water authorities in Kalar
  • WASH Focal Points of WASH Cluster
  • Contribution to an exit strategy for the IDP camps


August 2014 until October 2018
  • Federal Forein Office
  • Unicef
  • Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Poland
  • Aktion Deutschland Hilft
  • Polska Misja Medyczna/Polish Medical Mission


Portrait Meike John mit roter Pumpe
Meike John
Editor Public Relations
+49 351 481984-12
meike.john [at] arche-nova.org