Iraq is facing a major humanitarian crisis, with many internally displaced persons. With Fondation Christophe et Rodolphe Mérieux and our local partners, we are contributing to projects to support these displaced people, especially mothers and children in Iraqi Kurdistan.


  • First Fondation Mérieux mission in 2014


Support for mothers and children

Medical care

Many health problems have been identified in the camps, including diarrhea (especially in children), respiratory infections, the risk of disease outbreaks and complications of pregnancy and childbirth. To compensate for the lack of care facilities, in partnership with Fondation Christophe et Rodolphe Mérieux, we support several projects and NGOs that are committed to helping refugees:

  • Building a medical laboratory in the refugee camp in Bardarash, in partnership with the NGO Première Urgence Internationale.
  • Equipping the Health Center laboratory in the Darkar camp (near the Turkish border), in partnership with the EliseCare association which set up a clinic and a pharmacy within the camp.

Accommodation infrastructure

As part of initiatives supported by Fondation Christophe et Rodolphe Mérieux, we have been involved since the outbreak of the crisis in Iraq and Syria, assisting displaced populations to improve their living conditions:

  • Construction of 250 homes for refugees in the Nineveh Plains in partnership with the Saint-Irénée Foundation, the Raoul Follereau Foundation, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region, Grand Lyon and the City of Lyon.
  • Construction of the Saint-Irénée school for refugee children in Erbil (18 classrooms for 1200 children) and a sports field, in partnership with the same three foundations and with additional support from the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region and Fondation AnBer.
  • Creation of income-producing activities: at the Mar Elia refugee camp near Erbil, we helped to build a bakery and pastry production facility and set up a business run by refugees.

Emergency food aid

With Fondation Christophe et Rodolphe Mérieux, we intervened from the start of the humanitarian crisis in August 2014, with the urgent delivery of thirteen tons of food aid (in partnership with the Rhône-Alpes region) and a ton of medicine to Iraqi Kurdistan. In January 2017, some 2.6 tons of medicine (provided by the Tulip association), were distributed in health centers working with refugees in Erbil.