Hungarian Interchurch Aid launched its first aid program in Iraq in 2003, when medicines and medical equipment were delivered to the population of Dujayl city and one of the schools in the area was reconstructed. Funds were provided by ACT Alliance in addition to private donators.
Following the rapid expansion of the Islamic State in 2014, assistance has been provided by HIA to IDPs and Syrian refugees in Kurdistan region of Iraq, priority attention has been given to beneficiary groups of various minorities, such as Christian communities and Yazidis that were forced to leave their homes within a few days.
Supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, HIA’s permanent humanitarian representation was opened in Erbil (Kurdistan Region of Iraq) in June 2016.The task of the representation is to promote implementation of humanitarian and development programs to assist IDPs and refugees.
In 2016-2017 HIA assisted IDPs leaving Mosul en masse owing to the military operations against the Islamic State and realized numerous humanitarian aid actions. The organisation provided food supplies, hygienic, health and psycho-social care to refugees and IDPs in cooperation with ACT Alliance.
A new project supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary aiming to support reintegration of IDPs in their home country was launched in October 2017, it is implemented under the “Hungary Helps” initiative.
In 2018 a two-year development program is starting, it is financed by GIZ (German Agency for International Cooperation) and the European Union Madad Trust Fund. HIA’s program aims to reduce destabilizing effects of the refugee crisis in Iraqi Kurdistan and promote resilience and employment opportunities for host communities and IDPs in three governorates of Iraqi Kurdistan (Duhok, Erbil, Sulaymaniyah) for 7800 direct beneficiaries.
During 2018 HIA is involved in a further large-scale aid program under the aegis of ACT Alliance, the program is being implemented jointly by 11 international and local organisations. HIA’s program aims to provide clear water in the most disadvantaged areas near Mosul and to contribute to the rehabilitation of agricultural areas.
Reconstruction of further 10 private buildings is planned with the support of the Lutheran Church of Hungary in 2018 in the Nineveh plain.
Total value of HIA’s completed and ongoing programs since 2014 to 2018 is HUF 1,5 billion (EUR 5 million).
Humanitarian and development programs reach directly a total of 27,730 persons in Iraq.
From now on, HIA will also be able to support IDPs, returnees and host communities in the territory of the Government of Iraq.
The goal is to support returning Christian families to restart their lives in the Nineveh plain.
The Hungarian organisation opens a center to help returnees near Mosul and scales up IDP support in Erbil