Mercy Corps staff in Iraq and surrounding countries preparing for possible humanitarian crisis

Agency first international organization to receive approval to work in Kuwait
Mercy Corps is working with partner agencies in and around Iraq to coordinate a response to a potential humanitarian crisis in the region. Mercy Corps staff members in Baghdad and northern Iraq are performing assessments and preparing to provide humanitarian assistance in the event of a humanitarian crisis.

Mercy Corps has also received official approval to work in Kuwait to provide direct assistance if needed inside the country and along the border with Iraq. The agency is the first international organization to become officially registered to work in Kuwait. The advanced approval will enable Mercy Corps to work closely with local Kuwaiti non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the United Nations agencies in the country to position supplies and personnel in the event that humanitarian assistance is needed along the border with Iraq.

"The humanitarian situation inside Iraq is already grave and a conflict could put millions at risk of hunger and disease," Mercy Corps President and Co-Founder Dan O'Neill said. "Our staff in the region is working long hours to make sure that if a conflict does take place Mercy Corps and its partners will be in a position to help families that are likely to have tremendous needs."

Additional efforts include:

Members of Mercy Corps' Global Emergency Operations (GEO) team are currently performing assessments in the region and coordinating with Mercy Corps' offices in Jordan, Lebanon and the West Bank to position emergency supplies and personnel.

Mercy Corps is working with International Medical Corps, International Rescue Committee, Save the Children/US, and World Vision as a member of the Joint NGO Emergency Preparedness Initiative (JNEPI) based in Amman, Jordan. The JNEPI is a project initiated by to serve as a clearinghouse for information gathered by the agencies through their assessments and experiences in the region.

In Northern Iraq, Mercy Corps' global partner Peace Winds Japan is continuing to operate humanitarian programs in the Kurdish autonomous zone including medical clinics that provide critically needed medical support to displaced families and mobile clinics to reach people in remote areas.

Mercy Corps staff in Iran is working with local authorities and other organizations to develop assistance plans should large numbers of Iraqi refugees enter Iran.

Mercy Corps is accepting private contributions to support its humanitarian efforts in Iraq.

To help:


Mercy Corps
Iraq Emergency Fund
Dept. W
PO Box 2669
Portland, OR 97208

Phone: 1-800-292-3355 x250

Mercy Corps has been involved in humanitarian projects in the Middle East since 1981. Following the Gulf War in 1991, Mercy Corps provided emergency assistance and supplies to Kurdish refugees. Mercy Corps has also successfully provided lifesaving assistance to civilians in situations compounded by military action in Kosovo and Afghanistan.