In the mid-1990s, there were news reports about a public health emergency and harm to basic life in Iraq, untold suffering under the regime of Saddam Hussein, and a comprehensive United Nations trade embargo. This sparked humanitarian concerns in the United States and around the world. Children got dangerously sick and couldn’t receive life-saving health care, young adults couldn’t attend and/or speak freely in school, Iraqis were cut off from the outside world, and human rights defenders and ordinary citizens were jailed and killed without cause.

Motivated by these concerns and recognizing the need to act, EPIC was founded in 1998. We brought together veterans, Iraqi-Americans, aid workers, doctors, advocates, faith communities, and ordinary Americans as a grassroots movement to improve humanitarian conditions in Iraq.

With tens of thousands of Americans raising their voices in unison behind it, EPIC became a leading organization in the U.S., amplifying the authentic needs and concerns that everyday Iraqis were expressing. Since its creation, EPIC has built bridges across communities, connecting organizations and concerned citizens committed to a peaceful, prosperous and secure Iraq.

Our expertise on the issues and contacts in Iraq have allowed EPIC to lead the conversation in Washington on economic sanctions, human rights abuses, and humanitarian concerns. Now more than ever we must invest in Iraq’s younger generation to secure a lasting peace.