March 19, 2021

Ten years on, Syrian refugees’ lives in Iraq are growing tougher

Ten years on, since the advent of the Syrian crisis, life for Syrian refugee women, men, girls, and boys doesn’t get easier. In fact, with every passing year, it gets more difficult. We at SEMA US renew our commitment to support the refugee and host communities in Iraq and urge the international community to do the same.

By renewing our commitment, we pledge to continue to support refugees in Iraq to have a meaningful and dignified future through access to medical care.

Almost a quarter of a million Syrian refugees and asylum-seekers are still living in Iraq under tough living conditions since the beginning of the Syrian humanitarian crisis.

Protection risks, including child labour and early marriage, are becoming more acute, especially with the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Past gains in building self-reliance of refugees are at risk of being lost.

Meanwhile, the resources available to support them have been stretched past the breaking point. 

Access to primary health care has decreased, especially reproductive health care for women and girls, while food insecurity is on the rise. The risk of children not receiving a proper medical care is particularly high. It has been challenging for refugee children. 

Despite challenges and limitations faced in 2020, we continue to provide humanitarian medical support to the most vulnerable refugees and asylum-seekers in Iraq. We ensured the continuity of critical services and assistance, including registration and protection services, reproductive health services, malnutrition prevention for children, and awareness-raising activities to help safeguard the well-being of refugees.

We also help to set up isolation areas or hospital extensions, in addition to providing medical equipment, masks, PPEs, and medical plasticware to be used in camp-based primary healthcare clinics and hospitals.

The future of a whole generation of Syrians, as well as Syria and the region, is at stake if the Syria crisis continues, and the world does not remain engaged and committed to supporting refugees and host communities. Until the situation in Syria allows Syrian refugees to return in voluntary, safe, dignified, and well-informed manners, the international community must continue to support Syrian refugees in Iraq and worldwide to move ahead with their lives and have a better future.

Funding remains critical to address rising humanitarian and development needs. With the support of the international community, we can help create a better future for Syrian refugees in Iraq.

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