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Cordaid NL


Some 2020 annual results

  • 408,057people benefitted from our health, mental health and security&justice services
  • 35young entrepreneurs strenghtened their business and business skills
  • 80young people found a job or an internship through our private sector development work

Global Peace Index

161/ 163

GPI Rank

Political Instability

Safety & Security

Ongoing Conflict

Source: Global Peace Index (2020)

Country Office

Iraq flag Erbil, Iraq

Ainkawa sub-district
Sumer street
House No. 240/9/652B
Erbil, Iraq

Country Director Iraq - Middle East Region

José Xavier Salema

Cordaid in Iraq

Cordaid Iraq office has been established in Erbil since October 2015. In the aftermath of conflict within the region, we aim to deliver services in the field of health care, security and justice, agriculture, WASH and shelter. We also focus on the rehabilitation of basic infrastructure, as well as vocational training, livelihoods, protection mainstreaming and youth projects.

Read more about Cordaid in Iraq

Where does Cordaid work?

In Iraq, Cordaid acts as an implementing agency and works with partners’ organizations in 9 provinces including Nineveh, Salahddin, Ramadi, Habaniya, Duhok, Erbil, Anbar, Baghdad, Kirkuk. We have future plans to work in more provinces within the country.

Cordaid supports different provinces with various services, providing healthcare, humanitarian aids, and WASH projects in areas of need. We are also accelerating the private sector through various development projects. And our security and justice programmes promote the culture of peace and safety.

Along with host communities, Cordaid was one of the first to support the refugees and IDPs within the country with humanitarian aids, WASH, healthcare including psychological support and physiotherapy, and capacity building projects, for a better, dignified life and blooming hopes of a bright future ahead.

41,2 Million


Rural population

Urban population

11.0% annual

GDP growth

18.2 per 1,000

Mortality rate, neonatal


Current situation

Since August 2014, Iraq witnessed a massive displacement and humanitarian crisis due to the entrance of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and their occupation of several governorates of Iraq including Ninawa. The armed conflict resulted cumulatively in more than 6 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) across Iraq since the start of the crisis. It left more than 6.7 million in need of humanitarian assistance.

The end of 2017 was marked by the Iraqi government’s announcement of defeating ISIL and retaking control of the occupied governorates. IDPs started returning to their devastated villages, ruined homes, and destroyed basic infrastructures. The returning process has been rather slow. According to UNOCHA, approximately, 1.2 million people remain internally displaced within the country and 4.1 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.

In the second half of 2020, with the IDP camps' closure, Our humanitarian focus shifted to out-of-camp displacement and the importance of support in various unprepared locations.

The ongoing conflicts within the country have led to an unstable security fabric and social difficulties. The has crippled the economy, increased unemployment rates, drastically decreased living standards throughout the country.

Along with the conflict, the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected the private sector in the country. It caused multiple MSMEs to close, leaving families without an income to rely on. The unemployment rate in Iraq for the year 2020 hit 12.83% of the population (source: Statista).

Cordaid in Iraq

Health care 

Cordaid provides primary health care, psychosocial support, gender-based violence, and disability services for internally displaced, returnee’s people, and host communities in multiple governorates. Additionally, we train social workers and mobile teams, especially in recognizing and addressing gender-based violence. 

Patients if front of the pharmacy of he Primary Health Centre in Seje. The centre was set up two years ago and is still fully supported by Cordaid. Image: Mickael Franci.

Humanitarian aid

We support internally displaced people by providing food, emergency kits to cover first needs, non-food items, protection, hygiene kits and clean drinking water. We also rehabilitate broken or destroyed water units.

Security & justice program

At the first of July 2019, Cordaid started implementing a new project focusing on increasing a culture of peace, safety and security in a group of young people in the Mosul/Kirkuk (Erbil-KRI) communities.

Private sector development

Cordaid’s private sector development projects support businesses and accelerate them in adapting to the needs of the market.

We prepare entrepreneurs to become more market-oriented and to build their own businesses by providing sets of professional training courses that improve both their soft and hard entrepreneurial skills.

By strengthening businesses and individual entrepreneurs, Cordaid directly contributes to a better economic situation in Iraq. Both for business owners and their families, as well as for the wider communities they live in.

Women participating in a psychosocial support session. All participants are returnees who lived as IDPs for months, some for years, after ISIS captured their village. Some of the sessions focus on vocational training, others on awareness raising, gender based violence and other topics. Image: Mickael Franci.

Partners and donors

In Iraq, along with Cordaid’s own private fund, we work hand in hand with other partner, international organizations including UNOCHA, WHO, GIZ, Niffic, and UNFPA to provide a dignified life and a flourishing community for the Iraqi population.

Cordaid also works closely with a group of national partners, including Caritas Iraq, RNVDOAccess Aid Foundation, Al-Afaq, Kurdistan Relief Association (KRA), Al Ethar Humanitarian Foundation, JNB, Public Aid Organization (PAO), Iraqi Al-Amal, ASFL and Reform Institute for Development (RID).