Those who flee their homes as a result of persecution, violence, or natural disaster face numerous challenges. There are legal obstacles to employment, housing, and services, physical isolation from social networks and host communities, and few resources to call upon to create a semblance of normal life. IRD provides refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) with the tools and resources they need to start rebuilding their lives. Our refugee and IDP programs deliver emergency food, water, shelter, and medicines. We establish safe spaces for displaced children, provide occupational training to help people adopt new livelihoods, connect people to essential services like education and healthcare, and provide education to counter gender-based violence and other issues that affect refugees and IDPs. Knowing that many displaced people may never be able to return home, IRD works with local and national governments to address the issues inherent in hosting refugee populations, supporting them to regularize residency and extend legal recognition and access to services.

When emergencies arise, IRD provides short-term relief to refugees and IDPs. To support Darfur refugees in Chad, IRD implemented Emergency Food-for-Work and Agricultural Assistance Initiatives in Eastern Chad. Working with USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance and the UN’s World Food Program, IRD provided employment for 12,000 beneficiaries who constructed and rehabilitated dams, water catchment basins, and wells in exchange for food parcels. IRD also provided approximately 80,000 people with seeds and short-term technical farming assistance and training. In Iraq, IRD’s Humanitarian Assistance for Iraq (HAI) program coordinated with the UN and district council members to distribute non-food items to vulnerable families displaced by war and provided basic services to host populations. HAI also supported IDP settlement by rehabilitating or expanding hundreds of shelters and homes.

The Community-Based Support Program (CBSP) strengthens the skills of Iraqi refugees living in Jordan to generate income and find employment. CBSP has trained over 2,200 men in high-demand trades such as carpentry, general maintenance, welding, and automotive repair, and assists graduates to obtain work permits and job placements. CBSP trains women in marketing, food production, and sewing, and has identified over 500 exceptionally promising female graduates to receive intensive entrepreneurship training. In Lebanon, the Entrepreneurship for Refugees (EFR) program provides young Iraqi men with year-long entrepreneurship training within a Lebanese small business. To further assist the refugees in finding jobs, IRD works with local businesses to subsidize their employment while a work permit is processed. To assist nearly 37,000 refugees from the Central African Republic (CAR) settled in Cameroon and their host communities, IRD implemented the Livelihood Security Restoration for CAR Refugees and the Host Communities in Eastern Cameroon. This program addressed the dietary needs of the local population, provided veterinary and vaccination services, livestock to vulnerable households, animal husbandry training to nomadic populations, gardening training and tools, and rehabilitation of water infrastructure. IRD also partnered with a local group to establish a noodle processing plant to provide year-round employment and a source of food. In Iraq, IRD partnered with local government and organizations to provide vocational education to 400 IDPs and returnees and supplied more than 1,000 heads of household with business start-up packages.

IRD supports the mental and physical needs of refugee and displaced populations. In Columbia, IRD strengthens IDP associations to prevent or alleviate emotional and physical distress as well as local government capacity to provide care and support to victims. To support families of persons killed or missing as a result of civil conflict, IRD provides psychosocial support to surviving family members, helps families access reparations, and promotes reconciliation. In Jordan, the Health Linkages and National Networks (HLNN) program increases awareness of available government health services for Iraqi refugees. HLNN increases awareness of gender-based violence issues among Iraqis and has trained more than 1,000 refugees in violence prevention. HLNN has increased awareness among refugee populations of reproductive health, maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, and breast cancer through existing community and health outreach officers and media campaigns. A cornerstone of HAI’s child protection activities was to  create safe, nurturing environments that enabled IDP children to learn about protection issues.

The Strategic Health Support for Iraqi Refugees (SHS) program in Jordan provided over 76,000 Iraqis with a community network of basic health services. It also provided incomes for 120 Iraqi refugee women who served as outreach officers and helped the program gain the trust of and access to Iraqi homes. The Outreach Services for Iraqi Refugees (OSIR) program in Jordan provides refugees access to healthcare, legal protection, education, and other services to allow a holistic improvement in their quality of life. Volunteers are trained in communication skills, human and refugee rights, documentation and reporting procedures, and identification of vulnerable beneficiaries. Community action committees and community-based organizations are trained in sustainable community development, advocacy, gender issues, and conflict and negotiation skills. Working through individuals and locally formed groups, the project has assisted over 55,000 households. The HAI program operated mobile medical units to provide outpatient services, referrals, and screenings to 65,000 Iraqi IDPs. The program also renovated water distribution networks and storage tanks, and conducted hygiene promotion sessions.

IRD has a number of projects that improve relations between refugees and host communities. In Yemen, IRD organizes and builds the capacity of refugee communities through committees and sub-committees. Our programs involve outreach exercises that raise awareness of rights and responsibilities, and also health, protection, and food security services for both refugees and host communities. One example is a 10-part Arabic language radio series that highlighted the needs of refugee communities and Islam’s views on community support. In Jordan, the Community Mobilization for Partnership in Schools (CMP) project develops dynamic community-parent school coalitions to maximize the use of schools as learning centers for all community members. IRD Jordan also coordinates quick-impact projects to help cities cope with the recent large influx of refugees from Syria, particularly in Ramtha and Mafraq governorates. The project alleviates some of the pressure these governorates are experiencing and also encourages social interaction among refugees and host communities.


Cameroon UNHCR 2013

An estimated 86,000 refugees from the Central African Republic (CAR) reside in the... more

Closing Emergency Gaps to Aid Victims of Displacement in Colombia

Colombia’s struggle against drug production and export, terrorism, and other armed... more

Community Based Support for Iraqis

The goal of the Community-Based Support Program (CBSP), funded by the Department of... more

Community Cohesion in Northern Iraq

Conflict and instability have become daily features of Iraqi life. In northern Iraq... more

Community Mobilization for Partnership in Schools

The Community Mobilization for Partnership in Schools (CMP) project is a five-year... more

Community Services and Assistance to Refugees and Asylum-Seekers in Yemen

Yemen is the poorest country in the Arab world and consistently ranks at the bottom... more

Community-Based Support Program

The Community-Based Support Program (CBSP) builds the capacity of Iraqi refugees li... more

Emergency Food Aid in Chad

In June 2005, IRD completed Emergency Food-for-Work and Agricultural Assistance Ini... more

Entrepreneurship for Refugees Program in Lebanon

Iraqis have fled conflict in their own country to live in many other nations in the... more

Health Linkages and National Networks for Iraqi Refugees in Jordan

The Health Linkages and National Networks (HLNN) is enhancing protection of Iraqi r... more

Health Support for Syrian Refugees

IRD is improving the health status of Syrian refugees and host communities in Jorda... more

Increasing Stability and Resilience of Livelihood Systems among Central African Refugees

An estimated 86,000 refugees from the Central African Republic (CAR) reside in the... more

Livelihood Restoration in Cameroon

Following political unrest in their home country, approximately 45,000 refugees fro... more

Outreach Services for Syrian & Iraqi Refugees

The Outreach for Syrian and Iraqi Refugees (OSIR 5) program supports UNHCR outreach... more

Resettling Refugees in Mauritania

In 1989, violent ethnic conflicts and mounting pressures on limited natural resourc... more

Strategic Health Support for Iraqi Refugees (SHS)

The displacement of Iraqis is the fastest-growing refugee crisis in the world. Alth... more

Support for Minorities in Iraq

Religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq have long faced discrimination; many still... more

Working with the Displaced in Colombia

Colombia has served as an international leader in the challenge of bringing democra... more