HIA-Hungary established its new field office in Bashiqa, Iraq near Mosul. In addition to its Erbil office open since 2016, this is the second active representation of the Hungarian humanitarian organization in the region. The field office provides assistance to returning families after the war with a total sum of HUF 500 million, implemented under the Hungary Helps program with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The "Returnee Support Center", created by HIA-Hungary, provides support for the renovation of 30 private houses and providing heating material to 162 households. Among the objectives of the Center, the second phase of the program includes community development such as the renovations of a 600-student capacity school and the rehabilitation of local water supply which provides minimum standards for 2500 people. The Lutheran Church in Hungary has recently joined forces in the fundraising for the aid program supporting the return of primarily persecuted Christian families. During Advent of 2017, Lutheran Churches in Hungary raised a total of HUF 15 million which will enable HIA to support the renovation of a further 10 family homes in Bashiqa.In connection with the opening of the resettlement support center, the Humanitarian Experts of the Aid Organization, together with local staff, will carry out further on-site surveys in the coming weeks, as well as hold negotiations with local and international partner organizations.
HIA-Hungary launched its first Iraqi aid program in 2003, following the deployment of the Islamic State in 2014 to provide regular aid to support war-torn families. Among the persecuted minorities supported by aid operations, the Christian communities are at the forefront, who in most cases have been forced to leave their former residence within a few days. In 2016, with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade the Iraqi Kurdistan Erbil Open Center has the goal of providing long-term relief programs with effective assistance to help families resettle and re-start following their difficult post-war situation.