About the Crisis
The ongoing humanitarian situation in Iraq remains one of the largest in the world. Nearly 3 million people have been forced to flee their homes since the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) began seizing control of parts of northern and central Iraq in 2014.
This humanitarian catastrophe has left 11 million people in need of aid inside Iraq – almost one-third of the country’s population.
The international response has been massive. Humanitarian organizations are providing lifesaving assistance and working to address the urgent needs of Iraqis affected by the crisis. These groups are supporting vital health care programs, providing critical psycho-social support and emergency food assistance, rehabilitating shelters for displaced Iraqis, and airlifting relief supplies such as blankets, water containers, kitchen sets and hygiene kits. In addition, aid groups have pre-positioned food, shelter kits, and household items to assist newly displaced.
How You Can Help
When disasters occur anywhere in the world, Americans generously offer assistance to those in need. Decades of experience in disaster relief and recovery have shown that the best way to help people affected by disaster is to make cash donations to reputable relief and charitable organizations on the ground. These groups work closely with affected communities, know what people need and how to strengthen recovery efforts.
Cash donations are the most efficient form of assistance. Unlike material donations, cash involves no transportation costs, shipping delays, or customs fees. It also enables relief organizations to spend more time providing aid by spending less time managing goods. Cash donations also allow relief supplies to be purchased in markets close to the disaster site, which stimulates the local economy by providing employment and generating cash flow.
Organizations listed on the resources below are experienced and are participating directly in relief efforts. If you would like to know more about organizations you are considering for support, you can find detailed financial and programmatic information at: GiveWell, Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, and the Better Business Bureau.
About USAID CIDI
USAID created the Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) in 1988 one month after Hurricane Gilbert made landfall as a Category 5 storm that affected 10 countries. An outpouring of unsolicited donations took up space needed to stage and deliver life-saving relief supplies, and USAID and other responders spent valuable time managing unneeded clothing, expired medicine, and other non-critical items. USAID established the Center to educate the public about the advantages of giving monetary donations to relief organizations and the downside of donating unsolicited material goods www.cidi.org. USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) leads and coordinates the U.S. government’s humanitarian assistance efforts overseas, responding to an average of 65 disasters in more than 50 countries every year. Learn More About USAID/OFDA
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