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NP protection officers visit residents of Hammam al Alil camp 1.
Our Work In Iraq

The need for protection in Iraq

Seven years after the declared victory over Islamic State of Iraq and Syria – Da'esh (ISIS), Iraq continues to grapple with complex humanitarian, peacebuilding and development challenges in a volatile political and security environment. It hosts over 1.1 million internally displaced people (IDPs) and 5 million refugees. As such, these individuals remain in a vulnerable situation, often perceived to be affiliated with ISIS they are marginalised in a community already marked by  social exclusion and communal divisions. 

True post-ISIS community reconciliation remains absent. Tensions within and between ethnic-religious groups and ISIS-affiliated individuals and host communities spark incidental and systematic violence. Potential for violent conflict is exacerbated by perceived, and, at times, real, unequal access to aid distribution and opportunities. 

Duty bearers (such as government officials and police) are largely unresponsive to and untrusted by the community – leading to the underreporting and normalisation of violence. Women and girls, in particular, are adversely impacted as they face high levels of violence and are not included in decision-making processes. Men and boys control power, access to resources, movement and decision-making processes in the household and the community. 

Exacerbating such vulnerabilities even further is climate change. Iraq is ranked as the fifth most vulnerable country to the effects of climate change, subject to extreme weather conditions and temperatures. It faces a unique set of climate-related challenges that place a strain on limited resources, increasing competition for them, which, in turn, can fuel communal conflict and violence.

Further complicating the landscape is the threats that are being transmitted in online spaces. With the rise in digital technology, it has become a space where individuals and groups promote dehumanising narratives, leading to harassment and attacks against civilians. Women and girls are particularly vulnerable to character assassinations, as well as online extortion. 

NP’s work in Iraq

NP began operating in Iraq in 2017, focusing on protecting people affected by violence, particularly those in critical need of protection in the IDP camps, people returning to contested and high-risk areas and those located in tense regions near the Syrian and Turkish borders. As the immediate humanitarian response shifts to ongoign development, NP continues its focus on both violence prevention and peacebuilding based on community needs.

To that end, NPIQ’s mission is to foster resilience among communities affected by Daesh to prevent the re-emergence of violence in Ninewa Governorate, Iraq.

  • Peacebuilding & Social Cohesion: NP strengthens community peace teams who work to prevent violence, protect communities, manage conflict, and build peace.
  • Relationship-Building: NP supports relationship and trustbuilding between the community and duty bearers, state and non-state actors while also improving the responsiveness of these latter groups to protect civilians 
  • Women & Youth Engagement: NP champions women and youth inclusion and engagement. NP does this by establishing women and youth peace teams,  building their capacities to access decision-making processes. 
  • Digital Protection & Peacebuilding: NP focuses on stopping divisive narratives, such as rumours, disinformation, and hate speech. It also addresses online extortion and blackmail through providing digital and physical protection.
  • Climate Adaptation: NP collaborates with communities to prevent violence related to competition over resources and marginalisation as the impacts of climate change continue to grow.
  • Direct Protection: NP, with the community, provides direct physical protection to those experiencing threats of violence through protective accompaniment, patrolling, and ensuring safe access to services.

See more: 

The future of NP’s work in Iraq 

As the social cohesion and protection challenges facing Iraq are far from resolved, NPIQ will continue working on increasing the safety and security of civilians and enhancing the peaceful coexistence of communities. We will continue to focus on the inclusion of women and youth, who are so often excluded from the table.  Simultaneously, NPIQ will accelerate its focus on digital peacebuilding and climate adaptation as needs identified by the community. By doing so, NP remains committed to increasing the communities’ ability to protect themselves, strengthening nonviolent methods of conflict resolution and paving the way to reach durable solutions to long-standing humanitarian issues. 

NP protection officers meet with tribal leaders in Jeddah 5 camp to discuss conflict resolution.

Population: 41.2 million

Internally Displaced: 1.2 million

Returnees: 5 million

GPI Ranking of Peaceful Countries: #157 out of 163

Iraq program began in 2017

Our Impact

In 2021:
people connected to specialized resources, including at-risk children and family members with specific needs referred to services and assistance
youth trained in nonviolence and peacebuilding
people representing marginalized groups
participated in peace initiatives
Team in Iraq

Our Team in Iraq

Head of Mission: Thiago Wolfer
Established: 2017
Nonviolent Peace Force protection officers visit Hamam al Alil camp during an afternoon patrol.

“I know of NP and their nightly patrols. Because of these patrols, women feel safer in the camps. Thank you for your work, NP.”

One evening on a night patrol, a man approached NP
Read Our Stories

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Today, the level of violent conflict is increasing across the globe. This violence isn’t solving problems … it’s making the world more dangerous for us all. But you and I know there is another way. For 20 years, NP has been on the ground protecting civilians and working side-by-side with local communities to resolve conflicts. What makes our work truly remarkable is we do it all through unarmed strategies, and the extraordinary generosity of caring friends like you.

Snapshots of Peace

Patrol in Ba’aj District, May 2022.

Reconciling a family and preventing conflict

Shuttle negotiations and violence prevention in Ba’aj District, Iraq

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Protection to guarantee girls’ education

How NP’s patrols enabled safe access to education in Ba’aj, Iraq

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Children as agents of peace

The creation of a Children’s Peace Club in Jeddah 5 IDP Camp, in Iraq

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