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[Iraq] Peace Winds Has Completed Updating the Homes of about 4,500 Syrian Refugee Families

In 2018, Peace Winds began a project to upgrade shelters in four Syrian refugee camps in Erbil Governorate, Iraq with a grant from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM). Since 2020, Peace Winds has expanded similar activities with this grant to two Syrian refugee camps in Duhok Governorate.   In 2023, we assisted another 613 families, and by August 2023, we had upgraded shelters of a total of 4,496 Syrian refugee households, providing them more durable futures and increased safety and dignity.

Visiting a beneficiary at his shelter in September 2023. The beneficiary (left of photo) told us that our support enables him to use a toilet and take a shower by himself which reduces his family’s burden as well.

Furthermore, since 2020, because this project focuses on adults and children with disabilities, older persons, pregnant women, and other refugees facing barriers to mobility, Peace Winds teams have also improved public infrastructure in Syrian refugee camps in Erbil. Since 2023, Peace Winds has expanded similar activities with this grant to two Syrian refugee camps in Duhok Governorate. By August 2023, access to another 43 camp public facilities was improved, bringing the total to 111 camp infrastructure improvements.

Field visit by Peace Winds staff in September 2023 to monitor access improvement status of a public facility in a camp

The shelter and infrastructure upgrades utilize the cash-for-work model successfully implemented by Peace Winds in other projects to provide income opportunities, develop skills, and increase self-reliance. Rather than upgrading the shelters through local contractors, Peace Winds utilizes a cash-for-work approach that involves the targeted households in the process, providing them with opportunities to earn income, enhance skills, and take more ownership of their shelter upgrades. Households that cannot or choose not to perform the upgrade work themselves can choose other skilled or unskilled workers from the community or through the job centers in each camp. In 2023, 2,113 workers (336 of whom were women) were engaged in a cash-for-work activities.


Beneficiaries engaged in a cash-for-work activity

On September 27, 2023, Peace Winds held a legacy event to present this project activities and achievements, inviting stakeholders from PRM, local authorities, camp managers of supported camps, UN agencies, NGOs, and private sectors. In addition to the presentation of the project activities and achievements, we held panel discussions, bringing together prominent actors from the relevant sectors with themes of “Peace Winds Models: Livelihood Opportunities Transformations and Key Takeaways for Sustainable Growth” and “Collaborative Empowerment: NGO and the Private sector Uniting to Elevate Marginalized Communities.” The panel discussions provided an opportunity for a lively exchange of opinions with active participation from the audience.

Peace Winds Iraq Mission Country Representative made an opening remark
at Legacy event

Peace Winds staff explained about a cash-for-work activity at Legacy event

Peace Winds staff explained about before and after of shelter upgrade (toilet and shower room) at Legacy event

Panel discussion at Legacy event

Syrian Crisis, which began in March 2011, shows no sign of ending. There are still 240,000 Syrian refugees displaced in Kurdistan region of Iraq, where Peace Winds provides humanitarian assistance. We remain committed to improving the lives of refugee families, helping them regain the sense of safety and dignity that everyone deserves.

This project was funded by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) of U.S. Department of State and generous donations from our supporters. Thank you for your continuing support.

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