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. Highlight: the reign of terror of the so-called "Islamic State" (IS) that lasted three years. In 2017, he was officially defeated territorially. The relief was great in large parts of the country. Nevertheless, people must continue to reckon with attacks and asymmetric fighting by armed groups. Again and again religious and ethnic tensions flare up. Added to this is the tense economic situation. Nearly four million people are dependent on humanitarian aid. A large proportion of them are internally displaced persons. Those who can prepare themselves for a return to their home towns, for others the prerequisites are still lacking.
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Humanitarian Help in emergency displaced for expelled families

arche noVa has been deployed in Iraq since the outbreak of violence under the rule of “ISIS” in 2014. Beginning with fast distribution of relief supplies our help has grown into a comprehensive program focusing on the care of people in refugee camps. We supply up to 20,000 people with drinking water, sanitary facilities and hygiene articles at their places of refuge. Our team on site ensured the supply around the clock and reacted immediately to changing conditions

In recent years there have been new flight movements again and again. Most recently at the end of 2017, when tensions between the Kurdish regional government and the Iraqi government flared up in northern Iraq. arche noVa adjusted to the new situation and became active in additional camps. Meanwhile, the authorities are increasingly pursuing the plan to close emergency shelters. At the end of 2018, a camp in which arche noVa worked was also affected.  

Reconstruction will be a huge feat

For the foreseeable future, humanitarian aid will be needed in Iraq - including in the emergency shelters, where 700,000 people are still living at the end of 2018. Two million people are still considered internally displaced. Meanwhile, international donors and the Iraqi government are trying to persuade the refugee families to return to their home villages. But desire is far from being reality. Many refugee families report that it is impossible for them to return to their villages because they would find highly unsafe conditions there. In the areas exempted from the IS, the picture is dominated by extensive destruction of houses and infrastructure as well as a lack of opportunities to earn a living. In addition, the security situation remains tense. Reconstructing infrastructure, the economy and reconciliation within society requires a lot of time and effort from all stakeholders: the people concerned, the Iraqi Government, local authorities and the international community.

arche noVa builds water systems and sanitary facilities in villages and schools

The local arche noVa team is preparing for new tasks. In the long term, this also involves an exit strategy for the people in the emergency shelters. arche noVa would like to support the return of families to their homeland or their settlement in other parts of the country. The needs of the people are our first priority. Our goal is sustainable aid.

This is why, in addition to our activities in emergency shelters, we have also been involved in rural communities for a long time. According to our expertise, we take care of the reconstruction and rehabilitation of municipal water and drainage systems. We work in villages where many refugee families have found refuge. Step by step, we are extending these activities to communities that have been fought over and have since been largely destroyed. The programme includes repairs to water pipes, wells and drainage systems. We are also renewing the drinking water and sanitation systems in schools and hospitals. In total, around 150,000 people will benefit from our construction measures.

In order to improve local structures in the long term, we are also supporting the local water authority in Kalar. It receives the necessary equipment and materials to control and ensure the quality of drinking water. Our local team in Sulimaniyah leads the WASH Focal Point, a body in which authorities and international organisations agree on activities in the field of water, sanitation and hygiene.

Basic medical care needed

arche noVa was also involved in basic medical care in the project area. Three mobile medical teams were on their way around the provincial town of Kalar to care for local as well as refugee people who otherwise had little support. We are currently evaluating these project components and intend to restart these activities depending on the financing options available. The need for access to basic medical care remains a challenge in people's neglected homes.

A look at the history of arche noVa shows how close the region of northern Iraq arche noVa is to your heart. Iraqi Kurdistan was the target of the first arche noVa mission during the second Iraq war in 1992. It led to the foundation of the association. Further assignments in the region followed: 1994 and 2003 to 2006.

The current project receives funding from the Federal Foreign Office and Aktion Deutschland Hilft. It has in the past been co-financed by the Development Cooperation Programme of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland and had partnership components with UNICEF.

Donate for this project

sanitary supply for a family in the camp
secure drinking water for 15 people in the camp
Contribution to the development of water supply and sanitation in schools

Project Overview

Target Group
  • 22,000 people in emergency shelters
  • 150,000 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 1&2 (Diyala) with around 950 families: construction, operation and maintenance of the water pipe, 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 Nazrawa (Kirkuk) with around 335 families: hygiene promotion
  • Rehabilitation of a total of 95 water and sanitation systems in municipalities and at schools in Diyala, Kirkuk and Sulimaniyah
  • Support for the local water authority in Kalar
  • WASH Focal Point of the WASH Cluster
  • Collaboration on exit strategy for the IDP camps
  • Needs analyses for further areas outside the camps
Since August 2014
  • Federal Forein Office
  • Aktion Deutschland Hilft
  • Private donors


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