As we prepare to welcome the new year, we thought we would take the time to reflect on the progress Iraq has made over the past year and our work to support Iraq’s recovery. In Ramadi, Mosul, Sinjar, and other areas recovering from war, four million Iraqis have returned to their homes as families begin the hard work of rebuilding their lives. At the same time, another two million Iraqis remain displaced, unable to return to their homes and ancestral lands due to the scale of destruction, the presence of explosive remnants of war, and the fear of armed militias
It’s an exciting time for EPIC’s mission of peace in Iraq. We just opened an office in Erbil in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq as we join a multi-organizational USAID effort to support the safe and voluntary return of displaced Iraqis to their homes in Ninewa Province. Through the project, we are determined to help restore the diversity of Ninewa where ISIS forcibly drove out Yazidis, Assyrians, Turkomen, and other Iraqi communities vital to the social fabric and economic life of the region. Back in our DC office, we have been hard at work advancing EPIC’s mission through research, podcasts,
This week’s top headlines: No progress on government formation in Baghdad; PUK, KDP and Gorran meet to discuss cooperation and government formation in KRG – On December 7, Alsumaria News reported that the negotiations to finalize the identity of the remaining eight members of Iraq’s Cabinet was halted without any clear restart date. On December 12, Rudaw News reported that a political rift between Sunni blocs in parliament widened over the nomination for the minister of defense. On December 11, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) held a joint-meeting to improve relations and cooperation between the two majority parties in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). On December 12, the KDP met with a delegation from the Gorran Movement to discuss Gorran’s role in the formation of the next Kurdistan Regional Government.
In 2014, the Iraqi Yazidi community, a small ethno-religious minority residing mostly in the area of Sinjar, a mountainous region in Ninewa, northwestern Iraq, was subjected to a campaign of massacres, mass kidnappings and enslavement of women, boys and girls at the hands of ISIS. Between 2,000-5,000 Yazidis lost their lives and about 6,000 women and children kidnapped; about 3,000 of them remain missing. The survivors of the genocide fled mostly to areas under the control of the Kurdish Regional Government in northern Iraq and northeastern Syria. Although Sinjar was liberated from ISIS in 2015 and the surrounding areas
Protests have become a seasonal phenomenon in Basra province, southern Iraq. To date, Baghdad’s change of regime has made little difference for Basra’s 4.5 million mostly Shia Muslim residents who are frustrated with government corruption and shortages of electricity, clean water, and employment opportunities.
The holiday season is a good time to reflect on what we have accomplished in 2018 thanks to the generous support of donors, partners and volunteers like you. As the Education for Peace in Iraq Center prepares to expand our in-country humanitarian work in 2019, we wanted to highlight some of what we have done in Iraq over the past year. This year we responded to the mental health care needs of families and children recovering from years of armed conflict and persecution under ISIS. Launching EPIC’s Trauma Recovery Initiative with our award-winning partner, the Iraq Health Access Organization (IHAO),
Key Takeaways: Prime Minister Abdul Mahdi fails to secure confirmation of remaining ministers by Parliament – On December 4, Iraqi PM Adel Abdul Mahdi released the names of his final eight nominations for ministerial positions in the Iraqi Cabinet. The same day, the Iraqi Council of Representatives blocked the confirmations of the remaining eight ministerial positions and then adjourned the parliamentary session. more… UN pushes Iraq’s leadership to invest in reconstruction, create conditions for return of IDPs and tackle water crisis – On November 28, the Deputy Special Representative of UN Secretary-General in Iraq, Marta Ruedas, co-chaired a meeting with
On this edition of IRAQ MATTERS, Rasha Al-Aqeedi, a native of Mosul and an acclaimed Iraq analyst, discusses Mosul’s 3 years under ISIS, ongoing challenges to the city’s security and recovery, the role of young people and civil society in the fight against intolerance, and Ninewa’s central importance for enabling peace in Iraq.
This month, a group of Iraqi medical professionals, social workers and psychiatrists gathered in Mosul for three days to undergo intensive training on integrating the provision of mental health care in primary health care centers and hospitals. The professionals in this group work at 16 different facilities and organizations across Iraq, in Mosul, Sinjar, Baghdad and other locations, all affected by years of war. Some of the training participants The training was led by Dr. Abdul-Monaf al-Jadiry, one of Iraq’s leading psychiatrists, who conducted an in-depth needs assessment of the mental health care sector in Ninewa and the government and
This week’s headlines: U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Hezbollah-Affiliated Individuals, Iraq to Trade Food for Iranian Energy and Gas – On November 11, Iraqi President Barham Salih called on the United States (U.S.) to rethink its sanctions against Iran, voicing concerns about how the decision will affect Iraq’s relations with Iran. On November 13, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposed sanctions on four individuals who are affiliated with Lebanese Hezbollah. The four individuals are Shibl Muhsin Ubayd al-Zaydi, from Iraq, Yusuf Hashim, Adnan Hussein Kawtharani and Muhammad Abd-Al-Hadi, from Lebanon. On November 14, an