In the conflict-affected area of Samarra, where it is too risky for international relief workers to enter, OWFI has been working to meet the needs of families escaping Islamic State-contested areas.
Last winter, for example, OWFI learned of families living in a desert area east of Samarra, near the village Albo Mubarak.
With modest funding from international donors, OWFI's Samarra branch has continued to provide some assistance to displaced families.
Organizations like OWFI could strengthen their direct services beyond meeting immediate shelter needs, with the technical assistance and funding that comes with international partnerships.
MADRE assisted OWFI in developing protocols for accepting referrals for residents from sympathetic agencies and organizations such as the International Organization for Migration, but these referring agencies are few and far between.
In the fall of 2015, when the the UN Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights Committee asked the government about shelter availability, government representatives responded that OWFI is helping to meet the needs of survivors in central and southern Iraq.
A coalition of over 40 local organizations led by OWFI is advocating for the central government to adopt a national framework allowing for private shelters.