Mercy Hands launches a new program to provide psychosocial support for IDP children in Anbar
In the second week of this month, October 2016, Mercy Hands, in partnership with UNICEF, launched a new program titled "Responding to the Child Protection needs of girls and boys in Khaldiya and Habaniya affected by the IDPs crisis in the ongoing conflict from Anbar".
Khaldiya and Habaniya are two towns in Anbar governorate located north of Fallujah on the road to Ramadi. Since March of 2016, at least 85,000 people have been displaced in Anbar governorate due to military operations by Iraqi forces to re-take areas under ISIS control. The majority of the displaced families in Habaniya and Khaldiya are from Fallujah. Many of these families have been unable to go home after liberation of their home towns and have decided to stay in proximity to their area of origin.
Child protection in Khaldiya and Habaniya is a huge concern and children are definitely under evident psychological distress. Children remain vulnerable to family separation, exposure to IEDs and grave violations of their rights. Through supporting a Child Friendly Space (CFS) in Habaniya and Khaldiya camp, UNICEF and Mercy Hands expect to provide better child protection services to the vulnerable IDPs children. Services include provision of psychosocial support to help children cope with their experiences and identification and support to unaccompanied and separated children.
The expected outcomes of the program are as follows:
Outcome 1: 1200 children will have access to psychosocial support activities through outdoors and indoor recreational activities including culturally appropriate games. Parents and caregivers will be also engaged in daily activities (parents volunteering groups) and targeted with appropriate sessions.
Outcome 2: 60 children will be identified and provided with specialized assistance through direct intervention of Mercy Hands through appropriate referrals to other service providers in the camps & outside the camps. This will also include identification and referrals for unaccompanied and separated children.
Outcome 3: 1200 community members, including 600 children registered in the CFSs will be provided information and awareness raising on child rights and prevention of family separation and setting up systems to identify and register separated and unaccompanied children
The duration of the program is three months.