Emergency Response & Recovery

Emergency Response & Recovery


In Syria:

People in Need was one of the first international humanitarian organizations to respond to the crisis in Syria, starting operations there in 2012. In 2021, PIN assistance reached more than 1.5 million individuals across an annual program portfolio of over 53 million USD.

In Syria, we respond to emergency needs and support education and child protection. We distribute life-saving food assistance to those most in need and provide emergency hygiene kits and winterization assistance to displaced families. 

We provide shelter and protection for vulnerable people, and, at the same time, we conduct public and private shelter rehabilitation. We support agriculture and the restoration of additional sources of livelihoods, including public work opportunities, through livelihood grants and training, and through cash for work.

We repair public water wells and networks, rehabilitate, and extend sewage systems, and build landfills. Furthermore, we help education in schools and in temporary learning centers by supporting local teachers, students, and their parents; we strive to improve the quality of lessons; and we ensure psychosocial support to help conflict-affected children and their families build their resilience, including in child-friendly spaces in camps for displaced people.

PIN’s livelihood and agriculture programs in Syria provide opportunities for conflict-affected communities to start, resume, or expand their livelihoods, contributing to the country’s economic recovery and strengthening of local markets after over a decade of decline due to insecurity and conflict.

PIN seeks to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in emergencies, as well as to provide long-term, sustainable assistance and help the local community to be able to cope with the effects of the conflict on their own.


Over the past four decades, Iraq has experienced severe economic and social decline further aggravated by periods of political instability and armed conflict. People in Need (PIN) started working in Iraq since 2003, primarily assisting in southern Iraq by renovating healthcare facilities and supporting local governments and civic initiatives in order to strengthen the country’s adherence to human rights.

Since the beginning of the conflict with the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in 2014 and the flood of Syrian refugees and internally displaced Iraqis, PIN moved its focus to the north, helping more than 550,024 people in need of assistance.

The scope of our outreach has had to adapt to the ever-changing situation in Iraq as well as to the needs of those most vulnerable. We responded to the emergency resulting from the conflict with the so-called Islamic State by providing crucial items, such as food, water, hygiene products, and in winter warm clothes, blankets, and stoves for heating.

Life is slowly returning to normal since the fall of the armed group. Schools have re-opened and people are returning to their homes that had been occupied. Nevertheless, the country will continue to battle the socio-economic consequences of armed conflict for many years to come.

Currently, our team focuses its efforts on education, livelihoods, water, sanitation and hygiene; and renewable energies in the governorates of Nineveh, Salah Al-Din and Kirkuk with the country’s main office located in Erbil as well as in the capital, Baghdad.

We are doing everything in our power to help people return to their homes as smoothly as possible. We are supporting children to start school again, to make-up for missed classes, and to cope with the psychological impacts of their experiences. Additionally, we are repairing water mains and other crucial infrastructure as well as distributing hygiene kits and organizing behavioral change campaigns to ensure improved sanitary living and support general livelihoods.

Find out here about People in Need’s specific projects in Iraq: Humanitarian Aid, Education and Practical Abilities, and Sustainable Livelihoods and Environment.



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Ongoing ActivitiesORPast Activities

COVID-19 Response

COVID-19 Response

Since the start of Covid-19 pandemic, we adapted our response to not only ensure the continued and safe implementation of our activities but to help communities better prepare themselves and mitigate its impact. Door-to-door and social media awareness campaigns effectively reached over 32,000 community members while hygiene kits and face masks distribution reached over 76,000 people. Additionally, we are actively facilitating the safe reopening of businesses and schools and supporting children and educators in the meantime with a PIN-created distance learning curriculum implemented through smartphone applications.
WASH  - Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

WASH - Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

Water and sanitation infrastructures in Syria have been heavily impacted as a result of the war. Over one third of people have no access to drinking water, while electricity is either totally or partly unavailable in most places. Waste collection systems have collapsed in many areas, which threatens to contaminate sources of drinking water and dramatically increases the risk of outbreaks of disease like cholera and leishmaniasis.

Since 2013, People in Need has helped to restore public water wells and networks, construct water points and elevated water tanks, rehabilitate and extend sewage systems, build landfills, provide generators and renovate or install toilets and showers in camps and schools. We work with local authorities and contractors to carry out this work and improve the management of basic water, sanitation and hygiene services. Our cash-for-work programmes employ people to clear debris, renovate water networks and collect waste, thereby supporting rehabilitation efforts while at the same time offering vulnerable families a dignified way to earn an income.
  • In 2020, 269,578 people benefited from improved access to water as a result of our programmes
  • In 2020, 351,300 individuals benefited from improved sanitation or waste removal services creating a healthier, safer living environment for them
Emergency response

Emergency response

Every day, thousands of Syrians are forced to flee their homes because of the war, with most only taking with them whatever they can carry. In these most urgent of cases, our emergency “ready-to-eat” rations are often the very first assistance families receive. Each kit is packed with enough food to sustain an average family for five days, and all the contents can be eaten without being cooked. We also provide emergency hygiene kits to help families stay clean and healthy in the immediate aftermath of an upheaval. Cash grants are often supplied after this, to help families in distress continue to meet their immediate needs.
  • In 2020, we provided a monthly average of 23,667 ready-to-eat rations (RTERs) or food kits for families in the immediate aftermath of displacement or other crises 
  • 18,050 hygiene kits provided to households from PIN in 2020, containing essentials such as soap, towels, dishwashing liquid, jerry cans, and buckets, thus giving people the tools to improve their own hygiene and safety.
  • In 2020, 20,929 individuals benefited from emergency once-off cash grants to assist highly vulnerable people to buy food, water and other essential items
Take a look inside our emergency aid response in Syria 
Non-food items & Shelter

Non-food items & Shelter

Widespread and ongoing displacement means that thousands of families are still forced to leave their homes every day, often living in tents and abandoned or damaged buildings.  To meet these needs, PIN is providing families with support to construct temporary setter, such as the provision of tents or materials, such as tarps, wood, nails, rope to which reconstruct basic structures, or through repairing damaged homes to rehabilitate kitchens, bathrooms, and basic infrastructure that are destroyed to ensure a safe living space for families to return to their homes damaged by the conflict. PIN designs the response based on the needs of each location, taking into consideration of the level of damage and specific needs of vulnerable households – providing assistance both in camps as well as in urban areas to improving protection from harsh weather, provide a self of security and privacy, and ensure access to kitchen and sanitation facilities. In addition, PIN also repairs crucial community infrastructures such as landfills and health clinics.

Additionally, we distribute essential items to the most vulnerable families, especially those who have been recently displaced to camps or informal settlements due to the conflict. For these families, who are living under very severe conditions and with few belongings of their own, PIN provides essential items like kitchen kits providing all the basic items required for cooking, mattresses, blankets, clothes, and hygiene kits.  To help survive the bitter cold winter months, we also distribute heaters and cash grants for fuel.
  • 3,077 people received assistance to help prepare for the winter of 2020/2021
  • 15,888 households supplied with non-food items such as mattresses, blankets, clothes, and kitchen items
  • 1,069 households received assistance to ensure adequate shelter, through the provision of tents and household rehabilitation
  • 531,000 individuals benefited from public infrastructure rehabilitation, such as health clinics, schools, markets

Food security

Food security

Millions of people in Syria are currently in need of food aid, with millions more in danger of joining them. In more stable, peaceful areas, People in Need provides monthly food vouchers or cash grants that can be used in a range of local shops. By allowing people to choose and cook their own meals, this approach helps restore a crucial sense of dignity, while also stimulating the local economy and supporting the farmers who supply fruits, vegetables, meat or eggs to our partner shops. In areas with less stable markets, we provide this monthly food assistance in the form of in-kind goods, which consist of staple foods such as flour, rice, bulgur, lentils, chickpeas and fava beans.
We also support hundreds of selected bakeries each month, providing thousands of families with access to more affordable bread. 
  • Each month 13,420 families receive food parcels
  • Each month 8,500 families receive monthly food vouchers       
  • In 2020, more than 4 million subsidised bread packs were baked, reaching 315,000 individuals
Read more about food crisis in Syria
Humanitarian aid

Humanitarian aid

Our humanitarian efforts had particularly intensified in response to the campaign to recapture the territory seized and controlled by ISIL for more than three years. The peak of this military campaign was the Mosul offensive, which lasted for nine months and had a devastating impact on both the civil infrastructure and the local civilians whom the armed group often used as human shields. Nearly 900,000 people fled the besieged city during the fighting and found refuge in improvised shelters, neighbouring cities, or host communities in areas that had already been retaken.

PIN was one of the very first international organisations to start providing immediate humanitarian aid and assistance to people directly inside Mosul in February 2017 when the military campaign was still ongoing. Once the fighting subsided, we expanded our activities into other retaken areas in Nineveh, Salah Al-Din, Kirkuk and West Anbar. Depending on the situation, we help people adapt their temporary shelters, repair their war-damaged homes, or equip their households with basic items. The most vulnerable households might receive a direct financial support to cover their basic day-to-day needs, or their labour-fit members are engaged in activities such as waste collection, cleaning, and minor restoration works, to earn some income. Since 2014, 38,000 people have benefited from a one-time grant or cash-for-work program. By repairing water supply networks, we also help restore access to safe drinking water and revitalise local farming activities.
Material aid against the cold

Material aid against the cold

The vast majority of internal refugees in Dohuk province live in official refugee camps, while around 120,000 people live in thoroughly unsuitable conditions such as unofficial camps, schools, mosques or in torsos of buildings with a minimum of protection against the changing weather. In the winter, when temperatures in Iraq fall below zero, it was essential to provide materials to the most vulnerable persons to help them to some extent protect their improvised homes against the cold. With this aim in the Sumel district and in cooperation with its partner organisation Al Masalla, PIN distributed material aid which included tarpaulins for shelters, mattresses, blankets, winter clothing, stoves and paraffin for heating.
Reconstruction of Missan province

Reconstruction of Missan province

After the war, in the southern province of Missan, PIN reconstructed more than fifty schools and sixty medical establishments, fire stations, sport halls and youth centres. The drinking water supply system had also been damaged during the war and therefore the reconstruction of water treatment plants was carried out, as well as the distribution of simple water purifying devices for households. The public sewage system was also repaired in Al Amarah city.

In cooperation with local authorities, PIN held health checks at schools carried out together with inoculations of children, lectures about hygiene, water and sanitation awareness lectures as well as illness prevention campaigns.  In the area of the Iraqi marshes, PIN focused on fighting malaria through the distribution of mosquito nets.