Iraq IDP Crisis Situation Report No. 5 (27 July – 1 August 2014)

Report
from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 01 Aug 2014

Highlights

• The UN calls for immediate, safe and unhindered humanitarian access to all Iraqis in need.
• Families continue to move in search of safety, shelter and life-saving assistance.
• Some IDPs moving to Kurdistan during the Eid holiday encountered delays at checkpoints.
• A shortage of medical personnel is reported countrywide, preventing civilians’ access to health care.
• Over 600 schools continue to be used as IDP shelters,and need to be freed to ensure students can resume learning activities in September.

Situation Overview

The humanitarian situation continues to be extremely concerning, countrywide. Although the needs of displaced people remains a priority, host communities and people trapped in conflict-affected areas whose access to basic services, food and other commodities is curtailed are also in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

Free and unimpeded access to all in need across Iraq is a serious concern, particularly in the areas north of Baghdad and in the ‘central belt’ north and west of the capital. While some assistance is trickling in, IDPs and residents trapped in conflict zones are not receiving enough assistance. Access of civilans to basic services, markets and other facilities is curtailed in several areas.

In a press statement on 31 July, the Humanitarian Coordinator called for immediate, safe and unhindered humanitarian access for humanitarian partners to all those in need and for civilians to services and life-saving assistance, countrywide. She stated that the UN and humanitarian partners are ready to assist, but to do so all parties to the conflict must agree to guarantee safe and unhindered access of humanitarian staff and goods to communities in need.

Basic services and utilities continue to be targeted by armed groups in Anbar, Ninewa and Salah al-Din governorates. In Tilkef (Ninewa) nearly 70,000 people have been cut off from electricity and water supplies. The hospital in the town of Shirqat (Salah al-Din) was bombed on July 20 and was later hit again several times. Health facilities in Anbar are also being targeted. Unless attacks on facilities cease immediately, humanitarian actors expect additional significant waves of civilians’ displacement.

Roads north and east of Mosul are still closed by Kurdish armed forces. Checkpoints are reported to be restrictive and access is easilygranted only for the movement of minorities who have been persecuted.
The mass movement of minority groups from Sinjar also continues. In Najaf and Kerbala, shrines and mosques are being used to accommodate the displaced, but these lack basic services and sufficient support. Humanitarian actors are stepping up activities in these areas to assist all those in need. It was reported that 7,000 IDPs from Najaf were transferred to Babylon. 500 families (approximately 2,000 individuals) are still without shelter and are waiting for financial aid to rent accommodation.

The current security situation in Baghdad is of concern. Following heavy clashes between Iraqi forces and armed groups at the outskirts of the capital, 687 families were reported to have been displaced to the Al Masafi neighbourhood. Authorities have begun to set up IDP sites in the city, and humanitarian actors are providing assistance.

There have been reports of IDPs from Anbar returning to their governorate as they are unable to manage the high cost of living in Erbil, Dahuk and Sulaymaniyah.

The total funding available for humanitarian operations to date amount to over $624 million, and humanitarian actors are stepping up activities throughout the country. The Iraqi government has also allocated $500 million to provide assistance to IDPs.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.