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IRAQ AND
IRAQI KURDISTAN

Since 2003, Iraq has faced a succession of crises and conflicts that have severely affected its population. Since 2014 and the emergence of the Islamic State (IS) in the northern and western areas, the security situation has considerably deteriorated. The population had to choose between taking refuge in IDP camps or abroad and living for several years under the occupation of the group. In 2016, the Iraqi government regained possession of the entire country, but unrest continues to disturb the country as it tries to recover.

Since 1st of October 2019, large-scale social protests have been taking place across the country with Baghdad as the epicentre. Several hundred demonstrators have been killed during these demonstrations. Initially focused on specific issues such as youth unemployment, poverty and corruption in the country, the demonstrators' demands gradually shifted towards a global desire to overhaul Iraq's socio-political system.

Iraq is now facing new challenges, including economic and socio-political ones. These challenges must be reconciled in order to build a lasting peace and to ensure the security of a divided country marked by the aftermath of chronic wars.

In total, nearly 6 million Iraqis1 have been forced to leave by the conflict since 2014, when Mosul was taken by IS. As of 31st of October 2019, more than 1.4 million Iraqis2 were still displaced across the country. The latter have sought refuge in camps located mainly in the Governorate of Nineveh, near Mosul, as well as in urban areas, particularly in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region3. In addition to this displaced population, there are refugees from neighbouring countries, mainly from Syria, fleeing confrontation as well as the presence of armed groups on their territory. Insecurity, lack of infrastructure and living conditions deteriorated by the conflict are prolonging the exile of displaced populations.

Social and community equilibria are severely weakened by a predominantly Shia population, a Sunni minority too often perceived as IS supporters and minorities severely affected by the conflict (Yezidis, Christians and many other groups). Divisions are deep and segregation along community lines is a reality in conflict-affected areas. Despite the recovery of the entire territory occupied by the Islamic State, dormant cell activism maintains instability in some areas. Furthermore, former conflict areas remain in a precarious situation: mined land, destroyed homes and buildings, lack of infrastructure and basic public services.

In these circumstances, access to formal education is very limited for many children and many of them are at-risk and require protection. The fragility of the educational system, the distance from schools and school fees are compounded by difficulties resulting directly from the conflict, in particular the loss of administrative and legal documents that prevents access to public services, including education.

In 2018, 41% of children affected by the conflict had little or no access to educational services4. 50% of schools have been destroyed in the governorates affected by the fight against IS5. For the many children who have been out of school for four years or more, reintegration into the mainstream school system is unthinkable. Unfortunately, the majority of out-of-school children (68%) are adolescents whose distress is reported by parents and social workers6. This population is subject to social marginalisation and is particularly exposed to child labour, early marriage, recruitment into armed groups and risk of radicalisation.

In response to these vulnerable situations, TGH is setting up child protection programmes. Through its specific child protection unit, TGH provides psychosocial support to thousands of children and their families in the IDP camps of Khazer and Salamyiah as well as in the Balad area (Salahadin Governorate). TGH coordinates the care and response provided to child protection cases requiring external support (medical NGOs, national child protection services, etc.) to ensure children receive the most appropriate care.

In addition to its child protection activities, TGH is part of a dynamic of national capacity building for actors involved in child protection, starting with the Ministry and the Department of Labour and Social Affairs (MoSA/DoSA). The organisation has played a significant role in the development of child protection guidelines in both Iraqi Kurdistan and federal Iraq.

The organisation is also implementing food security and livelihood programmes focusing on water resource management, rehabilitation of agricultural infrastructure, veterinary care, economic recovery and population empowerment. These programmes help to revive agricultural economic activity, a crucial sector in rural Iraq, and encourage people to return to the villages where they belong.

1International Organization for Migration (IOM), Iraq
2International Organization for Migration, displacement tracking matrix, url: http://iraqdtm.iom.int/
3International Organization for Migration (IOM), Iraq
4Compilation of data from the Multi-Cluster Needs Assessment and the Ministry of Education
5Education Cluster Strategy, Iraq, 2019
6Idem

CURRENT PROGRAMMES

Temoignage enfant Irak

TEMOIGNAGE

Shathah, 15 years
Salamiyah 1 Camp, Iraq

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Temoignage enfant Irak

TEMOIGNAGE

Manal, 14 years
Salamiyah 2 Camp, Iraq

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Temoignage enfant Irak

CHILD PROTECTION MOSUL EMERGENCY RESPONSE

"I told my family everything about the camp, the Child Friendly Space and TGH team and their efforts to make this reunification happen"

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Strengthen community-based child protection for children, adolescents and their families affected by the conflict

Education and protection
  • Funding: UNICEF
  • Duration: 6 months - From 08/15/2019 to 02/14/2020
  • Budget: $697,435

Work towards greater availability of child protection services and mechanisms to combat gender violence, both in the prevention of and response to such violence, including in emergency and post-emergency humanitarian situations.

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Contribution to the improvement of child and family protection in Salah al-Din.

Education and protection
  • Funding: IHF - OCHA
  • Duration: 9 months - From 10/01/2019 to 06/30/2020
  • Budget: $520,000

The project aims to provide culturally appropriate child protection and legal services to Iraqi children and their families, taking into account the age and gender of children affected by the conflict, while strengthening community-based risk prevention and response mechanisms.

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Protection of water resources and other natural resources in the Sinjar Mountains

Food security and livelihoods
  • Funding: WFP (World Food Programme)
  • Duration: 7 months - From 05/10/2019 to 12/31/2019
  • Budget: €1,240,000

To improve the availability of drinking water and irrigation water, TGH is paying more than 400 residents to build water catchment structures on the slopes of the Sinjar Mountains to recharge groundwater levels.

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Economic recovery of micro-entrepreneurship and agriculture in Hamdaniya District

Food security and livelihoods
  • Funding: AFD (French Development Agency)
  • Duration: 34 months - From 02/01/2019 to 10/31/2021
  • Budget: €2,700,000

This programme facilitates access to funding and the rehabilitation of infrastructure related to agriculture, and strengthens social cohesion to contribute to economic and agricultural recovery.

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Strengthening child protection case management systems

Education et protection
  • Funding: UNHCR
  • Beneficiaries: 471 people
  • Duration: 10 months - From 03/01/2019 to 12/31/2019
  • Budget: $1,000,000

This programme strengthens child protection case management systems in Iraq (MoLSA and DoSA) and the capacity of social workers in the governorates of Baghdad, Nineveh, Erbil, Dohuk and Souleymanieh, as well as the Legal Clinic Network (LCN) of local NGOs based in Baghdad.

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Child protection and legal aid programme in Balad District

Education et protection
  • Funding: OCHA
  • Beneficiaries: 8,909 people
  • Duration: 8 months - From 02/01/2019 to 09/31/2019
  • Budget: $399,994

This programme improves the environment, well-being, resilience, healthy development and access to rights and learning opportunities for children affected by conflicts. It applies static or mobile approaches depending on the context. Children at risk and their families benefit from specialised culturally appropriate and gender-sensitive services (case management, legal assistance for civil documentation and detention cases through the partnership with Justice Center), as well as structured psychosocial support.

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COMPLETED PROGRAMMES

June 2018 / June 2019

Protection programme for displaced populations

This programme addresses child protection issues in Iraqi IDP camps through individualised follow-up, psychosocial support activities, awareness campaigns and the establishment of community centres for children, adolescents and their families.

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June 2018 / October 2018

Supporting the resilience of the most vulnerable pastoralist households

The overall objective of the programme is to improve the general health status of livestock and reduce the animal mortality rate by developing a free and mobile veterinary care unit in the district of Tilkaif.

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January 2018 / December 2018

Strengthening Child Protection Services

The main objective of this programme is to strengthen the internal systems and capacities of social workers from local NGOs and the Department and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (DoSA & MoLSA), and to improve coordination and communication between DoSA/MoLSA and non-governmental actors.

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January 2018 / November 2018

The professional integration and psychosocial care for children and adolescents

Establishment of a community centre in the underprivileged neighbourhoods of Mosul East to support the stabilization, social cohesion and professional integration of young people.

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April 2018 / May 2018

Maintaining essential child protection

The overall objective of the project is to maintain essential child protection services provided by the TGH teams to displaced populations living through individualised follow-up, psychosocial support activities, and awareness campaigns.

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October 2017 / February 2018

Mobile and community-based child protection services for conflict-affected children

Ensure immediate protection for conflict-affected children in the camps, facilitate and provide them with priority access to psychosocial services through dedicated mobile and static units and the strengthening of local and community capacities.

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August 2017 / April 2018

Support for the return and restoration of access to education for children

This project aims to mitigate the multiple factors that constitute barriers to access to education for children and adolescents in the areas recently taken back from Daesh, by proposing activities adapted to the specific problems of the different children’s profiles.

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