Friday, 22 January 2016 20:57

IOM Iraq - German Humanitarian Admission Program Relocates Most Vulnerable from Iraq to Germany

Iraq - The IOM Iraq - German Humanitarian Admission Program (HAP) closing ceremony

this week in Stuttgart marked the program’s achievements: the movement of over 1,000 of

the most vulnerable women and children targeted in the ongoing conflict in Iraq to the State

of Baden-Württemberg in Germany.

Many of these most vulnerable individuals were under the control of ISIL and are in need of

specialized medical and psychosocial support services. Most were living until recently in

camps for internally displaced people in northern Iraq. In Germany, program beneficiaries

receive access to free psychosocial and health care, accommodation, language courses and


The HAP program is a joint effort of IOM Iraq and the State Ministry of Baden-Württemberg.

Since the program began in March 2015, IOM has facilitated 14 charter flights: at the end of

January the total number of beneficiaries will total 1,045 - 664 children and 381 adults (709

females and 336 males). The last transfer of the German HAP program is scheduled for late

January and will include 156 beneficiaries.

As part of the HAP program, in order to facilitate safe and orderly migration, IOM provides:

transportation, health checks, clothing vouchers, initial medical screenings and logistical

support. All stages of the movement process are facilitated by IOM medical, operations and

psychosocial staff in order to meet beneficiary needs.

To ensure beneficiaries are safe and secure, specialized care and flight arrangements are

provided for medical cases. Cultural orientation sessions are also provided, including an

introduction to German language, history, local laws and explanation of social service


The women and children have expressed gratitude for the opportunity to move to Germany,

though many have also felt apprehensive about the future. The common sentiment is the

anticipation of living in a safe and secure environment, and the hope that their lives will

improve through the opportunities available in Germany.

One female beneficiary told IOM staff: “When I took my first step off the plane in Germany, I

let out a great sigh of relief. It was the first time in so long that I felt safe, like I could breathe

again. It feels very peaceful here, and people have been very kind to us. I am learning

German. Once I recover I hope to find a job someday where I can help people.”

IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Dr. Thomas Lothar Weiss said: “The exemplary cooperation

between IOM Iraq and the State Ministry of Baden-Württemberg through the HAP program

has enabled the relocation of more than 1,000 survivors of the worst violence committed in

the Iraq conflict. This program, geared to the needs of the very most vulnerable, is an

example of goal-oriented humanitarian aid, to provide the specialized services that these

women and children desperately need. The State Ministry Baden-Württemberg, HAP

program staff and volunteers deserve our greatest respect for their inspiring commitment to

this life-saving program.”

Minister-President of Baden-Württemberg Winfried Kretschmann said: "This project could not

have been successfully implemented without the support of IOM. They are the most efficient

and pragmatic organization that worked with staff from the Ministry of State."

The conflict in Iraq has displaced nearly 3.3 million Iraqis since January 2014. In order to

assist the most vulnerable, IOM Iraq works in cooperation with the United Nations

Humanitarian Country team and humanitarian partners to provide a range of emergency

response services: non-food item kits, shelter, livelihoods assistance, primary health care

and psychosocial assistance to help displaced persons regain dignity in their lives.

For further information please contact IOM Iraq: Sandra Black, Tel. +9647512342550,

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or Renato Libanora, Tel. +9647500211725,

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Additional Info

  • Agency: IOM
Last modified on Friday, 22 January 2016 21:08

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