The aim of this report is to understand Iraq’s refugee crisis, and analyse how it has come about. The report will start with general background information about Iraq, explaining their refugee situation. Following that, an evaluation of the international community. Finally, an outline of the actions within the international community in which help the refugee crisis.
What causes people to become refugees in Iraq?
Iraq is ranked as the 9th top country in which the most refugees flee from. One of the main reasons that any type of Iraqis are forced to leave their country is because of an invasion on Iraq, which occurred in 2003, until the present day. The conflict ensures that no Iraqis is safe, therefore millions choose to leave. An emergency organisation, which came about because of this conflict, is named the UNHCR emergency, whereby they aim to provide some assistance to those forced to leave. In Iraq, mass executions have occurred, Iraqis are raped daily, and shocking acts of violence are committed. Due to this, over 11 million people are homeless and defenceless, in need of some assistance. Turkey surrounds Iraq from the North, followed by Iran on the East side, Syria and Jordan from the West, and Saudi Arabia and Kuwait from the south. Iraq, which is now an Islamic, democratic, parliamentary republic country, consisting of 38.3 million people, has a prime minister named Barham Salih. However, going back to 2003 when all the conflict started, Saddam Hussein was the Prime Minister. Hussein had signed off on a letter addressed to the UN, confirming that Iraq did not withhold any chemical, nuclear or biological weapons (as it was a newly enforced law at the time.) However, Hussein had lied, as he did possess these types of weapons. Nevertheless, the US speculated that Saddam Hassan’s weapons were in fact, stocked in Iraq. This started the US invasion on Iraq (2003.) Not only did Hussein lie about the weapons, but he had also committed “crimes against humanity” while also being Prime Minister. The current Prime Minister, according to the public in Iraq, say that Salih is “a sophisticated and experienced personality, relentless in promoting dialogue and coexistence.” On top of that, Salih is not ignoring the Iraqis fleeing his country, nor the position he is in as the current leader. He has made countless donations towards the UNHCR, helping his people find better lives. The groups leaving Iraq are not sectioned into main religion groups; it is really, whoever is in areas in which violence occurs. However, speaking of religions, 64% of Iraqis are Islam, and 33% are Sunni Islam. The other 3% consist of smaller religions around Iraq. The languages used in Iraq are Arabic, Persian, Syriac, Kurdish and many more.
The International community responding to Iraq’s refugee crisis:
Pre-emptive Love is an organisation founded by Jeremy Courtney, who aims to provide “legal help for Iraqi children and their families suffering from persecution and displacement.” According to their website, they are a “coalition stretching across Iraq, Syria, the United States, and beyond…” Jeremy founded this organisation in 2007, whereby he helped children get the medical attention they needed, including heart surgery. Since then, the organisation has expanded, helping refugees with proper medical attention (as stated before), and even taking on the full responsibility of providing many other resources due in 2014. Why 2014? In 2014, an ISIS invasion on Iraq came out of nowhere, and because Iraq was underprepared for the “biggest crisis in Iraq ever”, Pre-emptive love partnered up with the ‘Iraq Health Access Organisation’ to support those in need.
Pre-emptive Love ended up providing a wide range of resources for Iraqis including: food, water, clothes, medical support, education and even housing. On average, due to the organisation growing in helpers, they feed as many as 50,000 people per day. Pre-emptive Love also provides support and a helping hand to those who have been victimised by ISIS, by guiding them into working industry. On top of this, they “provide small business grants, tools, and coaching so they can start again and so their families can flourish.”
Moreover, ‘World Vision’ has been helping displaced Iraqis with “food, water, sanitation, shelter and safety.” Named as one of the largest humanitarian organisations ever, World Vision has set up grounds in Iraq, due to people having to flee their homes because of violence. World Vision is an Australian organisation designed to help “vulnerable children”, however, has sought internationally, helping children in Iraq who have been in tough positions due to gang violence and street conflict (forcing them to flee.) Since 2014, World Vision has worked with Iraqis, and committed to bringing “hope and help” to families in those situations.
Last year, World Vision helped over 937,000 children and adults due to programs in Iraq, providing “Food, Health, Education, Protection, WASH and Livelihoods,” which run in five governorates within the country. Additionally, World Vision has set up programs in Iraq to educate young ones of the simple ways of life. As an example, the company has started a program, which runs throughout Iraq, named the “Wash Up!” program. This purposefully teaches kids about water, sanitation and hygiene. Stated on World Visions website, “Every 60 seconds, a hungry child is fed.”
An evaluation of the actions within the International Community:
Medical Care for refugees with home displacement has improved, due to them not being able to seek medical attention on their own [before], and Pre-emptive love providing them with the help they require. Pre-emptive Love gives displaced families/Iraqis immunisations, which aim to prevent all sorts of diseases and infections. In 2018, 94,465 medical consultations in Iraq were made from World Vision. This includes immunisations for children and adults. Additionally, refugees who cannot find an immediate home after fleeing are granted with a long-term place to stay; this includes shelter, food and water, hygiene kits, and more. How is this all happening? Well, aside from donations and fundraisers across the world, the Pre-emptive Love organisation has set up a little online shop, selling home made goods by refugees. Even though the prices are fairly high, all funds go straight towards helping displaced refugees live venture to a new country and live a long and happy life.
So, how could anything that Pre-emptive Love is doing be negative? Well, it is not so much the organisations fault here, but there is a downside to helping out refugees on the run from violence and conflict. On rare occasions, Terrorists can pose as refugees, coming to support groups and organisations such as Pre-emptive love. Turns out that “The largest share of terrorists (35%) were lawful permanent residents, followed by those who entered the U.S. on tourist visas (22%).” This means that Pre-emptive love could be helping terrorists travel to their next destination, whilst unknowingly providing them with care. What can be done, is checking all information they have about each refugee, making sure they aren’t harmful to the environment Pre-emptive Love aims to settle them in.
World Vision has worked for over 50 years to establish a well known organisation. One if the biggest plus sides to funding refugee help organisations are donations. World Vision raises money from all around the world, to resettle refugees in another country, getting them away from what they needed to flee from. World Vision has helped over 185,000 people (98,000 of which were children) with clean water, sanitation and hygiene. As well as helping 400,000 refugees with food assistance. On top of that, World Vision workers travel around Iraq to bring fun to refugee children. They teach kids games, ways of living, give them life resources, and prepare the children for a safe and happy future. Why? Well, every child needs the chance to go to school, get a job, and live a life. World Vision gives refugees that opportunity, making the world a better place.
According to the UNHCR, 67% of refugees worldwide are placed into refugees camps, designing to help them, but do not. Before getting decent help from organisations such as World Vision, children grow up learning about life, whilst barricaded in these camp walls. More than 3 million Iraqis are displaced across Iraq since the ISIS invasion of 2014. A typical refugee camp in Iraq holds around 11,400 refugees. There are 40 refugee camps throughout Iraq, bringing numbers of Iraqis in refugee camps to 456,000 people. Children do not get access to schooling there, so they learn ways to think and live for themselves. Nevertheless, the children learn not to trust authority, since that is how they got into the awful camps. So, rather than learning a sense of community, they learn to only worry for themselves. World Vision risks bringing children and even adults who have dealt with all of this into a society that is much more civilized and educated about societal morals. However, World vision could set up a program tailored to teach refugees about common society standards, to let them free into a nice country, safe from the violence they worked hard to flee from.
Based on the information provided in within this report about refugees in Iraq, the international community has addressed and helped the situation. It becomes clear that helping refugees start a new life by giving donations helps them, also puts a positive light on the world. Additionally, with ISIS invading Iraq, refugees need extra help in which both organisations provide (clothing, housing, food, water, and more.) By recognising who enters the country, continuing programs like Pre-emptive love and World Vision, nevertheless, teaching refugees about our modern day society, the refugee crisis in Iraq will change for the better.