Mercy Corps first to provide cash assistance in east Mosul


May 9, 2017

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  • Families in Tikrit reach through a window of a distribution center where cash donations are made. PHOTO: Alice Martins/Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps has recently been able to access east Mosul, Iraq, which was retaken from ISIS early this year and has been particularly challenging to reach due to ongoing conflict. While the city was under the control of ISIS it was impossible for aid organizations to get in to help those in need.

Mercy Corps is the first organisation to begin providing people in east Mosul with cash assistance, which allows families to get the items they need most.

As of May 6, more than 477,000 people in Mosul have fled their homes, losing their livelihoods and putting their families at great risk.

While the Iraqi military has retaken the eastern side of Mosul, fighting for control of western Mosul continues, and some areas of the city remain dangerous both for aid workers and the families who remain.

Find out more about the crisis in Mosul ▸

Almost 90 percent of families in east Mosul we surveyed in March and April of this year are faced with a daily struggle: getting enough to eat and drink, finding medical care and securing safe shelter.

“As we’ve entered previously inaccessible areas in the city, we’re learning more about the very difficult circumstances under which families are living,” says Su’ad Jarbawi, Iraq Country Director for Mercy Corps. “Adults are telling us they try to eat less and skip meals so that their children can eat. Most families we’ve spoken to so far say they can’t afford the basics, even food and medical care.”

Providing this cash assistance to people in east Mosul is especially important since 64 percent of families in the area reported to us that they do not have any family members who are currently working. Many were going into debt, borrowing money to put food on the table for their families. Before we began our distributions we conducted a market survey to confirm that a variety of basic types of food (lentils, rice, beans, chickpeas and so on) were available from local merchants at affordable prices.

Mercy Corps is now delivering cash distributions of £316 to families in need, and currently expects to reach nearly 4,000 families – approximately 20,000 people – impacted by the crisis in Mosul. More cash and voucher distributions are planned in the coming months.

Learn more about the value of cash aid ▸

“Cash is the quickest and most efficient way to help people because they can buy what they and their families need most,” Jarbawi says. “And an important side benefit to cash is that by spending money, people are supporting the local economy.”

Since 2003, we have provided assistance to 5 million Iraqis affected by war, violence and displacement throughout the country. We are currently addressing the needs of people affected by conflict, including refugees from Syria, displaced Iraqi civilians and Iraqi host communities.

We can do even more with your help. Join us in ensuring that even more families can meet their basic needs during this crisis:

  • Donate today. Every single contribution helps us provide even more food, water, shelter and support to Iraqi families and families in crisis around the world.
  • Tell your friends. Visit our Facebook page or Twitter page to share our stories and spread the word about the millions who need us.
  • Start a campaign. You can turn knowledge into action by setting up a personal fundraising page and asking your friends and family to contribute to our efforts to help Syrians fleeing the war.