Peace Winds Japan, an international partner of Mercy Corps, is operating programs that assist approximately 300,000 people in the Kurdish autonomous zone in Northern Iraq. Since 1996, Peace Winds Japan has been working with United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to provide assistance to families, including internally displaced persons (IDPs), and returnees and refugees who have been affected by conflicts in the region.
In the conflict-afflicted regions in northern Iraq where the government is often unable to assist families to meet their basic need, Peace Winds Japan's programs are providing critical medical, housing and social care assistance.
Peace Winds Japan has established and runs medical clinics within refugee camps. It also operates mobile medical clinics to reach those in remote areas and treats people suffering from the prognostic symptoms of chemical weapons and victims of landmines.
In refugee camps, Peace Winds Japan is constructing shelters, such as tents and basic housing as well as sanitation facilities including toilets and water supplies. Furthermore, Peace Winds Japan is working to rebuild and repair houses, schools, orphanages and bridges.
Peace Winds Japan distributes foodstuffs and other essential non-food items to families. It also carries out income generation projects for war widows, supports orphans and run literacy programs.
Mercy Corps and Peace Winds Japan formed a global partnership in 2001. The combined resources of the alliance make it one of the largest international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working in the areas of emergency relief services, sustainable community development and civil society initiatives.
The alliance is proving to be particularly valuable as Mercy Corps prepares for a possible humanitarian crisis in Iraq. Mercy Corps staff in the region are working closely with their Peace Winds Japan counterparts in northern Iraq to position supplies and personnel in the event of a conflict in Iraq.
With headquarters in Tokyo, Peace Winds Japan (PWJ) is a non-governmental organization designed to provide international assistance to people who are victimized by political circumstances and natural disasters. Since its establishment in 1996, Peace Winds Japan has operated programs in Mongolia, North Korea, East Timor, Northern Iraq, Kosovo and Irian Jaya, Indonesia, providing food, medical and housing assistance to hundreds of thousands in need.