Wednesday, 27 April 2016 03:00

Syrian Refugee Families in Erbil, Iraq Get Cash Aid

Iraq - On 27 April, 100 Syrian families living in host communities in Erbil Governorate in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) received a one-off unconditional cash transfer to help them meet their most pressing needs, including food, shelter and healthcare. In total, 440 individuals benefitted from this assistance.

Each family received USD 150 (IQD 166,000). The 100 families were identified by IOM Iraq and the local government as among the most vulnerable.

Funding was provided by USAIM – the US Association for International Migration IOM’s non-profit partner in the United States – which collects individual contributions from US-based donors.

Several of these families were displaced as early as 2012; half of the families are from the Kobani area in Syria.

“I will use 100 USD to pay back money I borrowed for my wife’s surgery and will keep 50 USD to cover my children’s daily expenses,” said Ramadhan Mustafa, who is providing for his 12-member family. “I earn between IQD 10,000 - 15,000 (USD 9-12) a day, which is hardly enough for our daily expenses.”

“After four or five years of displacement, the needs of Syrian refugees are changing and one of the most effective ways to respond is to provide them with cash. They know what they need and will use the money accordingly,” said Luca Dall’Oglio, CEO of USAIM. “Giving cash allows refugees to spend on their priorities; this empowers them.”

Earlier this year, USAIM funded a winter clothing distribution for more than 240 Syrian refugee children in the governorate of Erbil. IOM Iraq found that the winter clothing significantly contributed to the students’ classroom attendance and participation.

As of 31 March 2016, a total of 246,123 Syrian refugees are living in Iraq, 47 percent are in Erbil governorate in the KRI. Erbil was prioritized for assistance as the governorate hosting the largest Syrian refugee population living outside camps (over 83,000 individuals), who often do not receive the same level of humanitarian assistance as those in camps.

IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Thomas Lothar Weiss said, “In cooperation with humanitarian partners, government representatives and donors, IOM Iraq identifies and provides assistance to the most vulnerable Syrian refugees and displaced Iraqis. Cash assistance provides displaced families with freedom of choice, to meet their own most urgent needs.”

To continue supporting USAIM efforts to bring relief to Syrian refugees in Iraq, visit:

For media inquiries please contact

Sandra Black at IOM Iraq, Tel. +964 751 234 2550 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Hajer Naili at IOM Washington D.C. Tel: +1 202 568 3757, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

To support this initiative contact USAIM at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Additional Info

  • Agency: IOM
Last modified on Sunday, 08 May 2016 09:05

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