- Implementing Partners: Catholic Relief Services (CRS) with sub-awardee the Chaldean Archdiocese of Erbil
- Duration: October 2019 - September 2023
- Total Estimated Assistance: $7.4 million
- Location: Erbil
The violent multi-year occupation of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the north of Iraq forced many Iraqis, particularly religious and ethnic minorities, to flee from many parts of Iraq, including from Erbil in the country’s Kurdistan region. The Chaldean Archdiocese of Erbil was one of the first to respond and rally community members to provide relief to the most vulnerable. During a 2018 speech, His Excellency Archbishop Bashar Warda of the Archdiocese acknowledged the importance of religious tolerance and freedom for Iraq’s long-term stability: “How does our land overcome the endless cycle of persecution and violence that repeat themselves with regular horror to all of us? The harsh truth to this question is that without an end to this persecution and violence, there is no future for religious pluralism in Iraq, or anywhere else in the Middle East for that matter.” Ensuring the sustainable reintegration of IDPs in northern Iraq requires direct assistance to those in need as well as developing the capacity of local organizations to provide long-term services.
Through a partnership with the Archdiocese, USAID’s Transitional Assistance project provides cash assistance to IDPs from Ninewa currently in protracted displacement in Erbil. The activity conducts Durable Solutions sessions with families to help them develop strategies for a safe and successful reintegration. The project is also building the organizational capacity of the Archdiocese’s new nongovernmental organization, the Ankawa Humanitarian Committee (AHC), and three other organizations as part of USAID’s localization efforts.
Achievements to Date
- Nearly 13,000 individuals received cash assistance totaling $3.6 million.
- Durable Solutions sessions were provided to over 2,000 displaced families on services available in their area of origin to help them make informed and realistic plans.
- With support from the Transitional Assistance project, the AHC developed 22 new human resources, finance, and procurement policies and conducted 21 formal organizational development training sessions.