Country: Iraq

The Syrian refugee crisis: findings from a real-time evaluation of UNHCR’s response

In the first week of March 2011, a group of schoolboys in the rural Syrian village of Dara’a were imprisoned for graffiti, after spray-painting the walls of a school with a common slogan of the Arab uprisings, ‘The people want to topple the regime’. This event sparked anti-government demonstrations that would soon spread throughout the country…. Read more »

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MSF in the Middle East: a challenging context

The Middle East is an atypical context for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). The increasing complexity of humanitarian action, particularly the blurring of the lines between humanitarian and military actors and the increasing use of humanitarian language to justify wars, have made it even more difficult for MSF to negotiate independent operational space. This is especially… Read more »

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Addressing mental health needs in Lebanon

An estimated 17% of Lebanon’s population suffers from mental health problems, yet almost 90% have no access to treatment. On the surface, Lebanon has made significant strides since the 2006 war, and is today a major financial and cultural centre in the Middle East. Economic growth for 2011 is forecast at 6%, a record 2… Read more »

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MSF in the Middle East: a challenging context

The Middle East is an atypical context for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). The increasing complexity of humanitarian action, particularly the blurring of the lines between humanitarian and military actors and the increasing use of humanitarian language to justify wars, have made it even more difficult for MSF to negotiate independent operational space. This is especially… Read more »

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Supporting women in a difficult security environment: the ICRC’s programmes for women-headed households in Iraq

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) delegation in Iraq created a ‘Women and War’ advisor position in 2008, responsible for assessing and integrating women’s needs into ICRC programmes. Although no confirmed figures exist, there are estimates of over a million women-headed households (WHHs) in Iraq. Despite limitations on access imposed by insecurity, it… Read more »

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Iraqi refugees: making the urban refugee approach context-specific

In late 2006, the humanitarian community was alerted to the growing number of Iraqi refugees seeking assistance from NGOs in countries close to Iraq. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) convened a donor conference in April 2007 to set up a humanitarian response in the countries receiving the largest numbers of refugees, namely Syria,… Read more »

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Working with local organisations in Jordan

The influx of thousands of Iraqis into Jordan after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and again after the escalation of sectarian tensions in 2006, has significantly increased demand on basic public services. The international community’s response to this refugee crisis has focused on providing humanitarian assistance, including cash transfers, non-food items, medical care, psychological counselling… Read more »

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Military action in an urban area: the humanitarian consequences of Operation Phantom Fury in Fallujah, Iraq

Three years after Operation Iraqi Freedom, the US-led invasion of Iraq, was launched in March 2003, the humanitarian situation in Iraq is more critical than ever. The crisis is devastating for Iraqi civilians, in terms of death, injury, displacement, the denial of fundamental human rights and basic needs and the destruction of homes, vital facilities… Read more »

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