Heavy rains in late October have caused flooding in and around Baghdad, as surface drainage is minimal. Sewer systems have overflowed and caused open sewage to mix with floodwaters. The floods also contributed to increased power outages as many power stations were flooded and authorities have reported deaths caused by electrocution. Roads were damaged and drainage systems blocked even days after the rains stopped. The Iraqi Prime Minister on 1 November declared the status of emergency in areas overwhelmed by the heavy rains.
Humanitarian partners estimate that the floods have affected at least 84,000 displaced people staying in more than 40 sites and camps, mostly in Baghdad and Anbar governorates. On 5 November, the rains started in Baghdad again after a few days respite. The number of affected people may rise as partners receive more information about conditions on the ground. Flooding has also been reported from other governorates including Diyala, Salah al-Din and Sulaymaniyah. (OCHA, 8 Nov 2015)
At least 58 people have died in the recent floods, most killed by electrocution in the capital. Roads across the country were cut by the waters and sewage backed up. The downpours were particularly devastating in Baghdad, where crumbling infrastructure, weakened by 30 years of war and endemic corruption, played its part too. This year’s rains also hit northern Iraq, causing flash floods in the Kurdistan cities of Erbil and Sulaymaniyah. Aid workers said water levels reached up 1.5 metres inside some houses. (IRIN, 12 Nov 2015)
The campaign on 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence took place from 25 November to 10 December, with awareness-raising sessions promoting women’s and girls’ rights organized in IDP camps and urban areas.
UNHCR continued to deliver essential assistance to help the displaced families cope with harsh winter temperatures. 108,000 displaced people have received winterization support since 1 October 2015.
UPDATE ON ACHIEVEMENTS
Nigeria: An outbreak of Lassa viral haemorrhagic fever was announced in Nigeria on 8 January. At least 140 suspected cases and 30 confirmed cases, including 53 deaths, have been reported in 14 states. The indicated case fatality rate stands at 37.9%.
Gambia: Almost 182,000 people (9% of the population) are severely food insecure after erratic rains caused drought and crop failure. Most affected regions are Upper River, West Coast, and Northern Bank.
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Heavy rains and ongoing conflict jeopardize agricultural production
Loss of assets and income opportunities from farming, together with disruptions in marketing activities and related logistics, have exposed large number of people to severe food insecurity
Increasing number of IDPs together with refugees, mainly from Syrian Arab Republic, is also putting huge pressure on host communities
DRC: Violence between Hutu and Nande, in Miriki, Lubero, Nord-Kivu, allegedly over land, has left 17 dead and over 20,000 displaced. The displaced urgently need food and drinking water.
Iraq: In Ramadi and Hawija, Islamic State has stalled civilians’ attempts to escape conflict zones and persecution. People from Hawija must trek for two days across mountainous terrain to reach safety: 60 people were reported to have died on the journey between November 2015 and January 2016.
The most recent Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) reports that over 3.2 million Iraqis have been displaced throughout the country since January 2014. In addition, Iraq is hosting nearly 245,000 Syrian refugees, the majority of whom are residing in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
As of December 3, a total of 458,358 displaced Iraqis are reported to have returned to their location of origin. Of this total, approximately 54 per cent (247,932 individuals) have returned to Salah al-Din governorate, 20 per cent (92,352 individuals) to Diyala, and 15 per cent (68,958) to Ninewa.
Zimbabwe: A poor 2014/2015 harvest coupled with delayed onset of rains this cropping season have left 1.5 million people facing food insecurity from January through March 2016. Government maize stocks are dangerously low and humanitarian food assistance plans underfunded. Over 850,000 people urgently require assistance.
Summary of WFP assistance: Under emergency operation 200677, WFP is responding to the food needs of 1.5 million Iraqis affected by ongoing violence in all 18 governorates through three assistance modalities. Families who are temporarily settled and have access to cooking facilities receive a monthly FFP. Where market conditions allow, WFP assists people with paper vouchers, redeemable at 190 partner shops.
Snapshot 16–22 December 2015
Cameroon: 2.9 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. 2.4 million are in need of protection assistance, predominantly in the Far North Region. The government has reportedly urged men to join self-defence groups in the northern areas affected by Boko Haram. The same reports suggest the government has made provisions in its 2016 budget to support the self-defence groups.
On 22 November UNHCR opened the new Nazrawa Camp in Kirkuk Governorate. The camp will shelter 8,400 people, raising the camp capacity in Kirkuk Governorate to more than 16,000 people. The Governor of Kirkuk and the UNHCR Representative in Iraq welcomed the first 350 families to the camp.
During November UNHCR marked the 16 Days of Activism against GenderBased Violence. Events across Iraq were held in collaboration with IDPs, refugees, host communities, local authorities, partners and UN agencies.
Snapshot 9–15 December 2015
Snapshot 2-8 December 2015
Jordan: 11,400 Syrian asylum seekers are currently stranded at the border with Jordan, after a recent surge in violence has driven new displacement, doubling the number at the border since October. They face urgent humanitarian and protection needs. The Jordanian Government has increasingly restricted movement across the border since 2013.
On 19 October UNHCR relocated 300 families to the new Markazi Camp in Anbar Governorate. The camp will shelter 3,000 people in a location near Ameriyat al-Fallujah at the border to Baghdad Governorate. Camp residents fled conflict in Ramadi in April 2015, and appreciated the new shelters after months of living in difficult conditions. Bruno Geddo, UNHCR Representative in Iraq, welcomed the first families to the camp.
Snapshot 25 November–1 December 2015
Cameroon: New data indicate that 158,316 people are internally displaced – this is 65,000 more than the previous estimate. The vast majority have been displaced by Boko Haram-related violence, with fewer than 15% displaced by flooding and other natural disasters. Movement stays within Far North region, and Logone-et-Chari hosts around 60% of all IDPs.
Although education is a basic right for all, for thousands of children growing up in Iraq attending school is not a reality.
Iraq remains an extremely dangerous place to live. Over a million people are internally displaced and in Baghdad, terrorist incidents occur almost daily.
There are more civilian casualties because of conflict in Baghdad than anywhere else in Iraq.
This summer also saw flooding that devastated parts of central Iraq, destroying an entire camp.
The dark areas on the Radar Post-event image (left) show areas with possibility of water on surface.
The black area on the top of the image shows a temporary lake.
The scattered dark areas on the image represents high possibility of floodings at the moment of image acquisition.
Note that also asphalt and other materials may have similar response to Radar.
Somalia: Flooding has affected 132,000 people and displaced an estimated 60,000 as low-lying areas of Mogadishu have now been inundated, as well as areas of Middle Shabelle and Lower Juba. Main supply roads are impassable and some airstrips unusable The middle and lower reaches of the Shabelle River remain at high risk of flooding.
As of 22 October 2015, 3,202,638 people (533,773 families) were displaced across Iraq. 415,632 individuals are reported as returned to their place of origin (IOM).
Cases of cholera continue to be reported in Iraq, mainly in the central and southern zones. UNICEF is concerned that 1 in 5 cases are children under 10 years old.