Johanniter helps traumatised displaced people in Iraq

Alqosh, Iraq, 26. October 2017

In spring of this year, Johanniter International Assistance started to support the ‘Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights’ by establishing a new Health Center in the town of Alqosh in the Nineveh region. Alqosh is situated just outside of the autonomous Kurdistan region in Northern Iraq, on the rim of the territory that was taken by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) in 2014. Many people from the Nineveh plains and from Mosul fled to Alqosh and the surrounding villages when ISIS extended their rule in Iraq and finally took hold of the city of Mosul, less than forty kilometers south from Alqosh. Many of these displaced people had been injured both physically and mentally.

All pictures by Johanniter International Assistance

Therefore, the need for medical and psychological treatment was enormous - and still is today. The local health center that already existed in Alqosh was overwhelmed and staff was not trained in providing psychological support. When the scale of the unmet needs became apparent, the Jiyan Foundation decided to establish a second Health Center in Alqosh with additional focus on emergency trauma care and psychological support. Our German JOIN member quickly embraced this idea; thanks to funding from Aktion Deutschland Hilft e.V., a building was renovated and equipped, and doctors, pharmacists and psychologists were hired.

The Alqosh Centre currently offers primary health care and mental health care to roughly fifty patients per day, covering the transportation costs for those who have to travel to Alqosh from the surrounding villages. The original Health Centre refers patients to Jiyan, especially those in need of psychological treatment. The foundation supports survivors of human right violations: people who have experienced torture, genocide, political persecution, domestic and gender-based violence, and terrorist attacks. Medical treatment, psychotherapeutic support and socio-legal counselling for mental well-being and social reintegration are provided.

Follow this link to get more information about our German JOIN member's activities in Iraq.