Programme areas and target groups

  • Erbil
  • Anbar governorate
  • Ninewah governorate including Mosul city

In Iraq, we work with internally displaced persons, refugees, non-displaced people and returnees.

We work in the following sectors:

  • Food security & Livelihoods
  • Shelter
  • Peacebuilding
  • Education

What we do in Iraq

Although IS was officially defeated in the summer of 2017, three years of control of major cities in Iraq and the subsequent battle caused tremendous damage and destruction. In 2018, over a million displaced Iraqis were able to return to their homes, which are often damaged and not connected to electric systems. They lack opportunities to make an income, the education system is under strain, and their mental well-being has been challenged by years of crisis. Additionally, the country hosts around 250,000 Syrian refugees.

Focus on IDP’s and returnees

ZOA started its response in 2014, providing relief to displaced Iraqis and Syrian refugees. Initially in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, ZOA expanded its operations into Mosul during the military campaign of the Iraqi army to retake the city from IS. We were among the first NGOs in the heavily destroyed city. Throughout 2017, ZOA focused on projects for IDPs and returnees, targeting increased food security, access to safe water, rehabilitation of water structures and shelter repair. Additionally, we implemented an emergency education project for Syrian refugee and IDP children, and established a number of Safe Spaces for women and children in Mosul city.

In 2018, ZOA started operations in Anbar, in areas where only few NGOs are accessing people of concern where ZOA provides shelter assistance.

Our goal is to support vulnerable conflict-affected people with (social) reconstruction activities, livelihoods assistance and psycho-social support in order to establish stable and peaceful communities with hope for the future.

Care for minority groups

Both in relief programming, which is still relevant mainly for those who remain displaced, as well as through recovery focussed projects for those willing to return or recently returned without safe and dignified houses, ZOA aims to work in a conflict sensitive way. ZOA includes people from all different ethnicities and religions, with specific care for minority groups such as Yazidis, Kakais, Shabakis and Christians.

Make families flourish

Throughout its recovery and resilience programmes in Iraq, ZOA considers a family-oriented approach. Making families flourish in the aftermath of conflict means:

  • Creating a protective environment in which children can develop (through psycho-social support and work with the schools and education systems);
  • Creating opportunities for income generation for men, women, and youth, through rural and urban livelihoods interventions, and skilling;
  • Contributing to social cohesion in communities and neighbourhoods, through peacebuilding

Through ZOA’s work vulnerable people affected by the violent conflicts are given relief and hope for the future.

Donors and partners

With funding from

Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UNOCHA, BPRM, FIDA, Hulp Bijzondere Noden, Woord&Daad, Red een Kind, de Hofstee Stichting ZOA the Netherlands.

In cooperation with