Since 2003, the European Commission has provided almost €170 million in humanitarian aid to help the victims of the Iraqi crisis.
Aid goes to people displaced inside Iraq as well as to refugees in neighbouring Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.
Assisting conflict affected people inside Iraq
The war in 2003 and the precarious security situation ever since have resulted in massive displacement and lack of basic protection for the civilian population.
The hardship of vulnerable groups has increased, with a little access to employment and basic services such as water, sanitation and health-care and education.
Since 2003, the European Commission has allocated almost €123 million for basic medical care, water trucking and rehabilitation of water and sanitation systems across the country.
In 2009, the Commission adopted an additional funding package of €10 million for the hundreds of thousands of people displaced inside Iraq. This assistance provides protection and relief to displaced persons and other vulnerable populations affected by the conflict. These include people that sought refuge in Iraq before the outbreak of the war.
Helping Iraqi refugees who have fled to Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey
Since 2003, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have crossed into neighbouring countries. By 2009, tens of thousands of vulnerable Iraqis were still living in dire conditions. The Commission therefore allocated €10 million for the most vulnerable refugees. Aid consists of basic health-care, psychosocial assistance, and distribution of food and essential household items.
Specific support for UNHCR's core mandate of protection is also provided. This is particularly important in identifying the most vulnerable groups and assessing their specific needs.
Access to victims: a daily challenge for humanitarians
The Commission, in particular its Humanitarian aid department, will continue to strengthen its partnerships and work alongside the humanitarian actors responding to the crisis including UN agencies, NGOs and the ICRC.
However, humanitarian access in Iraq is still a major problem due to heightened security risks. Many areas in Iraq remain inaccessible for international organisations, which hampers the needs assessments and delivery of humanitarian aid to the most vulnerable groups.