During the war of 2003 STEP continued activities, concentrating especially on support to vulnerable children who had no place to go to during the time of crisis. Working street children were assisted by shelter, blankets, food and psycho-social support if necessary.
After the war, STEP extended its work into the areas previously under the control of the Iraqi government. Several assessments took place after the end of the war.
Following these assessments STEP provided school stationery items to 7 primary and 4 secondary schools. This was to enable end of year exams to take place as planned – many schools were completely looted. Also provided were basic furniture and stationary for the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Social Affairs (MOSA) offices as most of the furniture had been completely destroyed or stolen.
In partnership UNOPS-IDP, STEP conducted two surveys in Kirkuk and the Diyala district; one survey to identify the needs and the extent of the problems of working children. The second survey was to identify and quantify vulnerable groups in Kirkuk and the Diyala district.
Under the UNOPS agreement, STEP was able to provide 355 of the poorest working children in Kirkuk and the Diyala district with school uniforms and school bags. In cooperation with the Departments of Education, approximately 60 primary schools were provided with essential stationary and sport equipment for boys and girls schools.