ABOUT IRAQI REFUGEE STORIES
Jennifer Utz (www.jennyjo.com) is a videojournalist who has been covering the Iraqi refugee crisis since the fall of 2006. She was one of the first US-based journalists to highlight the extent of the crisis, breaking the story on Democracy Now in February 2007. Her subsequent reports aired on ABC World News Tonight, France 24, and Current TV.
> Continue

HOW YOU CAN TAKE ACTION: WORLDWIDE

According to Refugees International, "UNHCR has issued a regional appeal for $261 million for 2008. Besides the U.S. contribution of $83 million, the appeal remains largely unfunded. UNHCR in both Syria and Jordan expressed concern that they would have to drastically cut their programs should the appeal not be fully funded.

Donate directly to UNHCR
> http://www.unhcr.org/donate/index.htm

Write your Congressperson
Write to your Congressperson and urge them to increase financial support to UNHCR, WFP, or CERF, to assist Iraqi refugees and displaced people. Tell them to pressure Iraq's government to increase aid to displaced Iraqis and to those living in Syria and Jordan
> www.house.gov/writerep/

The Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP)
Organizes law students and attorneys to provide legal representation to those who have none. Helps Iraqi refugees navigate the rules and processes of resettlement in the US. Their work helps families escape from harm and persecution.

> http://iraqirefugee.us/

The List Project
The List Project is a U.S. non-profit, founded in 2007 with the belief that the United States Government has a clear and urgent moral obligation to resettle to safety Iraqis who are imperiled due to their affiliation with the United States of America. They are the first comprehensive organizational effort to honor the sacrifice of these Iraqis.
> http://thelistproject.org/

No More Victims
No More Victims works to obtain medical sponsorships for war-injured Iraqi children and to forge ties between the children, their families and communities in the United States. We believe one of the most effective means of combating militarism is to focus on direct relief to its victims.
> http://www.nomorevictims.org

HOW YOU CAN TAKE ACTION: SYRIA

Concerns about UN operations in Syria need to be contextualized within the challenging operating environment. Given the inability of most refugees to return home, find work, and receive adequate assistance, their needs will continue to increase. Continued and increased financial and political support is essential to ensuring that these needs are met. There are many uncertainties, but the large number of Iraqis and the extent of their growing needs is not one of them.

While there are few NGOs operating effectively with Iraqi refugees in Syria or those displaced inside Iraq, however the following are doing useful work. Please consider donating.

Sisters of The Good Shepherd
Four nuns run Syria's only women's shelter in Damascus, accepting all sects and ethnicities. They also run programs for Iraqi refugees. Donations can be sent to their US or Canadian offices with instructions to forward the funds to Damascus.
> http://www.goodshepherdsisters.org/

Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps provides emergency humanitarian aid to displaced people inside Iraq. They have assisted thousands of refugees in Jordan and recently became the first US-based development agency to receive permission to open an office in Syria, where they will deliver occupational training to young Iraqis.
> www.mercycorps.org

Relief International
RI has done effective work with displaced Iraqis, as well as rebuilding Iraqi schools and public works.
> www.ri.org

HOW YOU CAN TAKE ACTION: JORDAN

Care International
Care International employs a counseling centre which offers services to refugees four days a week.The centre tries to find possible ways of helping refugees in decreasing the stress that affects their lives through social and psychosocial counseling. The centre also evaluates their financial situation and needs and finds solutions to fight their poverty. In
addition to the cash assistance, the counseling centre provides material assistance such as: diapers, sanitary napkins, and heaters for needy refugees during winter.

Care International also has a Social Activities Centre targeting vulnerable groups referred by the counseling centre, providing them with specialized training courses in addition to a computer lab and library for refugees’ use. For children, the center provides them area services for under-aged school children and summer camps and other
social activities for other ages. The centre also builds and establishes committees and provides them with meeting and training rooms.
> http://www.careinternational.org.uk/10977/jordan/care-in-jordan-.html

The Jordanian Red Crescent Society (JRC)
The Jordanian Red Crescent Society helps in providing health care and medical assistance through a hospital located in Al-Musdar Area. The clinic is located next to the hospital. The clinic provides general medical examination and free medication.
> http://www.jordanredcrescent.org/

Save the Children
Save the Children, supported by UNHCR and other donors, is implementing the Ta'leem education program for Iraqis and Jordanians aged 6 to 18.

This program helps by:

  • Providing and distributing school packages.
  • Facilitating access to schools and educational activities.
  • Providing, in partnership with the Ministry of Education, capacity-building for teachers and principals.
  • Addressing broad community concerns about educational issues.
  • Providing remedial classes for public school children.
  • Organizing basic literacy, numeracy and activities programs for out-of-school children.
  • Developing an outreach mechanism to vulnerable Iraqis.
  • Organizing English and IT learning activities.
  • Providing non-formal life skills activities.
  • Establishing a youth club to meet and act on issues of common concern.
  • Promoting community leadership through mobilizing volunteers.

Save the Children is also implementing the Khatawat program, which aims at improving children's access to quality, safe educational opportunities by:

  • Renovating, furnishing and fully-equipping public and community-based
    kindergartens to meet high-quality, safe standards.
  • Facilitating access to kindergarten for Iraqi children aged 3-6 by
    covering the costs of enrollment, transportation and basic materials.
  • Training and mentoring teachers and supervisors on the
    'learning-through-play' curriculum and building their capacities to
    work with both Iraqi and Jordanian children.
  • Involving parents in children's early learning and development,
    in the classroom and home, and helping them better
    support their children's psycho-social needs.

> http://www.savethechildren.org/countries/middle-east-eurasia/jordan.html

Jordanian Women’s Union
With support from UNHCR , JWU provides services to women in Jordan (regardless of nationality) and to their
children and families, with a special focus on the survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). The union functions in nine separate locations. JWU Staff at community centers across Jordan include social workers, psychologists, lawyers, and teachers (English, Arabic, math and sciences).

Services offered for women:

  • Social, psychological and legal counselling through hotlines
  • Family mediation
  • Legal literacy courses
  • English, Arabic and computer classes
  • Social activities
  • Authorized space to exercise visitation rights

Services offered for children:

  • Art activities
  • Playground and toys
  • English, Arabic, math and science classes
  • Theatre activities

Contact Jordanian Women's Union:
PO Box 960723
Amman, Jordan
Fax: 96-2-66-87-061

Jordan Alliance Against Hunger
Jordan Alliance Against Hunger (JAAH) works on the provision of nutritional needs for Iraqis.

HOW YOU CAN TAKE ACTION: LEBANON

The UNHCR office in Lebanon is working with a wide spectrum of active NGOs providing assistance for Iraqis for a better needs identification and response, mainly in areas related to legal aid, education, health, and prevention and response to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV).

UNHCR’s implementing partners in Lebanon in 2008 include Amel Association, The Middle-East Council of Churches (MECC), CARITAS, RESTART, and the Norwegian Refugee Council.

Operational partners include the Danish Refugee Council (DRC), the Chaldean Charity Association, Arc-en-Ciel, IOM (for resettlement and departures), ICMC, Médecins du Monde (MDM), AJEM, Frontiers, the Lebanese Association for Development (Al Majmoua), and a number of NGOs providing assistance or legal aid to refugees.

The office has two community centres for refugees and asylum seekers in Lebanon; one is located in the southern suburbs of Beirut and is run by UNHCR partner, Amel Association, the other is located in the east Beirut.

The office also has an office for the rehabilitation of victims of torture and violence run by RESTART, in addition to an Education Resource Center (ERC) run by NRC.