Apart from a short interruption in 2016, Mercy Hands has always had a presence in Basra since 2007. From 2007 to 2016 our activities in Basra were mostly related to Emergency Response - WFP’s food warehousing and logistics - but in 2017 we launched a protection project in Basra in partnership with UNHCR, which is still ongoing, and this year, 2019, we launched two community development projects in south of Iraq, in partnership with AMAR US. Clearly the focus of donors in Iraq is shifting from emergency response to recovery and development, and more and more funding is going into the southern governorates, especially Basra governorate. To prepare MH for this change in funding strategy, we have decided to send more resources and expertise into the south and set up a mission office in Basra.
Our first Head of Mission in Basra is Juliane Esselbrügge. Juliane will lead Mercy Hands’ humanitarian effort in the south, mainly in Basra. She will be based in Basra City and her official first day of work is October 1, 2019.
Juliane has strong leadership skills; she is adventurous, dependable, decisive, problem solver, skilled mentor, and strong relationship/ team builder. She is a healthcare professional with a Master degree in Public Health, majoring in global leadership and administration. Her interest in the humanitarian/ development field came from her work with a couple of NGOs. She worked in an NGO in Kathmandu, Nepal that empowered female survivors of human trafficking and gender-based violence and another NGO in the Middle East specialized in women’s right. She is professionally trained on Budgeting, Stewardship, Grant Writing, Marketing, Data Management, Reporting & Strategic Planning. Juliane speaks German (mother tongue) and fluent English.