Syria Refugee Crisis
Since March 2011, the ongoing violence in Syria has led over 3.9 million people to flee the country and seek refuge elsewhere. In Iraq there are nearly 250,000 Syrian refugees and 98% of them reside in camps and urban setting in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). Children make up half of the Syrian refugee population in the country.
The situation for Syrian refugees living in Iraq is dire and providing them with basic necessities is critical. Many children have missed up to four years of school, and almost all bear the scars of the war, they have witnessed and the homes they had to flee.
With the majority of refugees living outside of camps, Save the Children’s programmes target children and families in both camp and urban settings. We are providing child protection services and activities, education, distributions of non-food items, and also advocating to ensure that refugee children’s rights are granted to them.
Save the Children is running 11 Child Friendly Spaces (CFS)/Youth Friendly Spaces (YFS) in both camp and urban settings across Erbil, Dohuk and Sulaymaniyah governorates. The CFS/YFS programs have a particular focus on building resilience and offering psychosocial support where needed. We are also performing case management of individual Child Protection cases. We have set up Community Based Child Protection Committees (CPC’s) in both camp and urban settings and we are conducting Parent Meeting sessions.
We focus on Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD), Non Formal Education and Catch Up classes in camp and urban setting in Erbil and Dohuk governorates as well as constructing additional learning spaces to strengthen the capacity of the existing education system. Closely integrated in our education response is our advocacy work towards the KRG (Kurdish Regional Government) and, among other things, to add Arabic classes to the shifts.
Save the Children has conducted large-scale distributions of blankets, clothing and household kits, especially as part of our previous winterization efforts.