Iraq + 1 more

Transitional assistance to internally displaced persons in Erbil

News and Press Release
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Through a joint partnership with the Archdiocese of Erbil, USAID is supporting the sustainable reintegration of internally displaced persons in northern Iraq.

Project Snapshot

  • Implementing Partner: Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in joint partnership with the Chaldean Archdiocese of Erbil
  • Duration: October 2019 - March 2022
  • Location: Erbil
  • Budget: $6.8 million


The violent multi-year occupation of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the north of Iraq forced many of the religious and ethnic minority groups to flee to Erbil in the Iraqi Kurdistan region and elsewhere. Many families suddenly found themselves without shelter and in desperate need for assistance. The Chaldean Archdiocese of Erbil was one of the first to response. During a 2018 speech, His Excellency Archbishop Bashar Warda of the Chaldean Catholic Archdiocese of Erbil, 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 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in northern Iraq requires a combination of direct assistance to those in need while developing the capacity of local organizations to provide in longer-term service delivery.

USAID Response

Through a joint partnership with the Archdiocese of Erbil, USAID's Transitional Assistance (TA) project supports the IDPs from Ninewa currently in protracted displacement in Erbil through cash assistance and Durable Solutions sessions, which provide informational training and planning assistance to help families develop strategies for a safe and successful reintegration. The second year of the project will focus on building the organizational capacity of the Archdiocese of Erbil's new non-governmental organization, the Ankawa Humanitarian Committee (AHC).

Achievements to Date

  • Nearly 13,000 individuals received cash assistance totaling $2.64 million USD.
  • Durable Solutions sessions provided to 1,810 displaced families to help them learn more about services available in their area of origin and make more informed and realistic decisions about their future plans.
  • Ongoing support to the AHC team in developing their management, administration, finance, and human resources skills.