Iraq Crisis

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.

Details About the Ongoing Response Efforts

Additional Resources

More information on the U.S. government’s humanitarian response to Iraq can be found here.

Additional information on humanitarian relief organizations can be found on ReliefWeb, a humanitarian information portal run by the United Nations.


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 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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