World Vision Preparing for Potential Large-scale Displacement, Humanitarian Crisis in Iraq

ERBIL, Iraq (September 9, 2016) – World Vision is working with the United Nations and other NGOs across the region to respond to what could be the largest humanitarian crisis of the year. Anticipated military action aroundMosul – Iraq’s second largest city – could force as many as one million of its residents to flee.

If this occurs, it would add to the 3.3 million people already displaced in Iraq due to insecurity and conflict. It comes on top of the already dire humanitarian situation in the region, caused by the Syria conflict, which is now in its sixth year.

Already World Vision staff are seeing people arriving by the hundreds to camps in the Kurdish Region of Iraq, fearing the fighting that is to come. The camps and especially reception centers are quickly becoming overcrowded. World Vision is already assisting people from Mosul who have recently fled to these areas where we work.

‘We are especially concerned about the children caught in the middle of this crisis, and what they may have experienced,’ said Wynn Flaten, World Vision’s Syria Crisis Response Director. “Those who have been in Mosul have potentially witnessed unspeakable horrors of conflict not once, but many times over – seeing firsthand a time of turbulence that would be difficult for even most adults to handle.”

World Vision has been working in the Kurdish Region of Iraq since 2014, providing food, cash assistance, water and sanitation, medical care, and child protection to more than one million people. The organization will be significantly scaling up in many of these same areas to meet the needs of those fleeing this next wave of violence in Mosul. The work, which will be centered in Northern Iraq, will cover both existing camps and ones that are newly created as part of the increase in displaced people.

Activities will likely include:

  • Helping families prepare for the winter ahead with blankets, hygiene kits, plastic tarps, stoves, heaters, clothing, and cash assistance.
  • Establishing and expanding our mobile health clinic work in camps
  • Providing water and sanitation infrastructure in the camps, as well as emergency water trucking
  • Creating safe spaces for children to play and catch up on the school they have missed with Child Friendly Learning Spaces
  • Providing food to families in need through cash and vouchers as the largest World Food Program partner in KRI

The organization has assisted camps with generators and water systems, and created spaces for children to play volleyball, basketball, and on swing sets. Looking to 2017, World Vision is planning to roll out economic empowerment programs to help families generate income and youth find jobs.


  • 3.3 million people displaced within Iraq
  • 10 million people in need out of a population of 36 million
  • Up to 1 million more people expected to need humanitarian assistance in the coming months
  • About one quarter of a million Syrian refugees are in the Kurdish Region of Iraq, creating additional strain among host communities struggling with limited resources
  • Key areas of anticipated need: clean water, sanitation, food, shelter, essential items to help face winter, healthcare, education, and emotional support

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Photos, videos ( on-the-ground interviews are available. Contact Lauren Fisher (+1.206.310.5476; [email protected] for more information.


About World Vision:
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization conducting relief, development, and advocacy activities in its work with children, families, and their communities in nearly 100 countries to help them reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. For more information, please visit or on Twitter @WorldVisionUSA.


  • Anticipated military action in Mosul could force up to one million people to flee their homes
  • Could prompt largest humanitarian crisis of the year
  • Already hundreds arriving at camps in Kurdish Region of Iraq