Iran + 4 more

Iraq: Humanitarian Situation Report No. 06

Situation Report
Originally published
Assistance activities to affected populations in Iraq are underway by the ICRC and national staff of UN agencies. In Baghdad, ICRC has distributed emergency stocks of drinking water, surgical supplies and a generator to hospitals. UNICEF has provided food to children's institutions and medical supplies have been distributed to hospitals. In Basra, the ICRC has fielded emergency generator repair teams to restore water service. It is estimated that 40% of the population have now access to water. Assistance efforts for IDPs in the 3 northern governorates continue with UNOPS, WFP, UNICEF, UNDP, NGOs and the ICRC providing food, medical, sanitation, water, shelter, fuel and generator support.

The IDP situation in the north is stabilizing with reports of people returning to their homes in the three northern governorates. The "border" with the south remains closed. Approximately 90% of the IDPs have found refuge with relatives; remaining IDPs are sheltered in public buildings or tents. Rising fuel prices in the north (300% increase in the last week) are creating difficulties for the population.

Conflicting statements by Iranian authorities on whether the border is open or closed to refugees have come out in the last few days. It remains our understanding that the border will be open should refugees wish to cross.

UN and international presence at the Humanitarian Hub in Larnaca continues to grow. Representatives of the ICRC, IFRC, UNFPA, UNHCHR and the IDP unit arrived over the weekend.



The number of TCNs arriving at the Jordanian and Syrian border is subsiding. 24 TCNs departed today, while 286 await processing in Jordanian camps. No refugees crossed into Jordan, while the number in Syria is very low (around 20).


UNICEF has positioned a total of $9.1 million in health, water, and nutritional supplies in Iran, Turkey, Kuwait and Jordan.

UNOPS-IDP has pre-positioned tents (and other shelter materials) and NFIs in northern Iraq to provide emergency assistance for 30,000 IDPs and other vulnerable persons. In addition, UNOPS is procuring and pre-positioning tents (and other shelter materials) for 150,000 persons and NFIs for 200,000 persons.

In centre/south, distribution of the August ration under the Oil-for-Food programme started on 15 March. No precise information on the progress of food deliveries to beneficiaries is available. However, informal sources report that the August ration has been distributed.

NORTH (Erbil, Dahuk, Sulaymaniyah)

The security situation in Erbil Governorate remained stable, while in Dahuk governorate it is still tense due to the bombardment of Faida military camp on GoI controlled areas, near Dahuk. The situation is Sulaymaniyah Governorate is tense, particularly in the Halabja area due to the ongoing conflict with Ansar al-Islam. ICRC and UN agencies continue assessing the living conditions of IDPs.

In Soran (Erbil), there are 270 IDPs families (1,680 persons) hosted in 11 schools. Of these families, 66 (346 persons) come from the centre/south, while the others fled from Erbil. UNOPS provided kerosene to the schools in Soran for heating purposes. UNOPS responded to a request from the Local Authorities to provide emergency food relief to 66 IDP families, which will be distributed tomorrow. Local authorities are distributing water to IDP settlements while UNOPS provide with fuel for the tankers. UNOPS also provided 270 tents for IDPs camps in Bazyan (Sulaymaniyah) and Delizian tent camp in Soran. UNICEF will provide with water and sanitation facilities and UNDP will put in place electricity supply. Work at Ashkawtawan tent camp in Mergasoor district (Erbil) is ongoing.

Local Authorities set up a camp in Bagerat (25 km from Dahuk) for IDPs from the Centre/South. UNOPS erected 10 tents and carried out mine contamination verification. WFP will provide sugar, rice and oil for 5,000 people at this camp. UNICEF will commence the construction of 48 toilets and 32 showers together with a water project. UNDP will install 250 Kva diesel generator, which will cover almost 400 families (2 amps/family). Peace Winds Japan (PWJ) will provide medicine and medical teams.

ICRC delivered non-food items such as blankets, cooking stoves, heaters, hygiene items, jerry cans to 34 IDPs families and to 130 detainees transferred from the Juvenile Detention Centre in Erbil to Diyana kindergarten.

In Dahuk governorate, water supply has commenced for 500 IDPs families living in Brifka settlement (400 families, c.a. 3,500 people) and three other locations in Kani-Mase. These sites are occupied by IDP who fled form Dahuk. UNOPS carried out a rapid assessment of IDP in Amadie and Mangeshk areas, where approximately 580 IDP families are located. In the long-term IDP transit camps of Hetit, Balesha and Deralok the management services are still functioning properly. Since 18 March the population of Hetit camp has risen from 154 to 335 families and in Deralok transit camp from 54 to 134 families.

CENTRAL (Ninewa, Tameem, Salah al-Din)


BAGHDAD (Baghdad, Anbar, Diyala)

ICRC distributed emergency stocks of drinking water, surgical supplies, and a generator to hospitals. On Saturday, ICRC also transported 240 cubic meters of drinking water to 48 distribution stations for poorly served areas of Baghdad.

Responding to a request of the Government, UNICEF supplied rice, flour, high protein biscuits and tinned meat to 4 institutions in Baghdad housing up to 800 children. The overhauling of backup generators procured under the Oil for Food Programme for Baghdad City water and sewage system has been completed and oil for generators has been delivered. Two trucks of essential medicines and water purification tablets arrived in Baghdad from Jordan. UNICEF also distributed medical supplies to hospital and will also provide chlorine tablets to health centres for use in any possible typhoid or cholera outbreak.

UPPER SOUTH (Najaf, Qadissiya, Wassit, Babil, Kerbala)

The ICRC provided 800 blankets, 100 hygiene kits, 100 heaters, 200 jerry cans, 100 kitchen sets, 100 cooking stoves and 100 buckets to the Iraqi Red Crescent in Kirkuk.

LOWER SOUTH (Basrah, Missan, Muthanna, Thi-Qar)

Due to the failure of the power system, Basrah was left without water. ICRC teams managed to restore the service for approximately 40% of the population. These works will only partially and temporarily cover the needs of 1,2 million residents of Basrah. Discussions are underway with all parties to obtain access to the main water station in Wafaa Al-Qaid, north of Basrah.

According to the UNCT in Kuwait there are virtually no displaced civilians in southern Iraq.


AFP reports that China will give emergency aid equipment (tents) to the Jordanian Government to respond to a possible influx of refugees.




UNHCR was informed by BAFIA that approval has been received to proceed with activation of refugee sites in the northern parts of Iran. One site will immediately be activated.

According to IOM, 2 busloads of Sudanese nationals are expected to arrive at Khosravi border crossing soon.

As of today, no refugees have entered Iran. Iranian authorities distributed food to a nomadic group close to Parviz Khan, and at Ilam province which are still on the Iraqi side of the border.

Health authorities in Kermanshah have sought assistance from WHO for providing emergency health and trauma kits to assist potential refugees at the border.



Operational developments

At Camp B (TCNs) there were 12 new arrivals. IOM arranged the departure of 169 people from the camp. 147 Sudanese flew from Amman to Khartoum, 16 Egyptians moved by road to Aqaba and 4 South Africans and 2 US citizens were also assisted. IOM is continuing to provide support to the JRCS in further developing the camp.

Some NGOs are continuing to send relief goods into Iraq on an irregular basis.






Political developments as it impacts on the humanitarian operation

Saudi Aramco, has finalized an emergency plan to cope with possible environmental disaster accidents due to the war in Iraq. The Ministry of Commerce declared that the foodstuffs demand and prices are stable.

Operational developments

No influx of refugees has been reported. Several Embassies have dispatched consular teams at the border between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in order to assist their citizens willing to go back home.

The Ministry of Health has confirmed the availability of vaccines and personnel for communicable disease response. 10% of the capacity of hospitals in Riyadh, Qassim and Madinah has been allocated for emergency cases.





Operational developments

UNHCR began the transfer of 8,000 mattresses from regional stocks in Iskenderun to the Turkish Red Crescent Society (TRCS) warehouse in Silopi.


Shelter materials and chlorine are stalled in the port of Mersin. UNICEF reports that these items are in short supply in northern Iraq.


UNHCR mobile team in Turkey was unable to undertake a mission to Hakkari and Cukurca, in the eastern border, which had been approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the required escort departed.


The 661 committee is preparing a draft resolution to adjust the OFFP in order to continue providing emergency humanitarian aid to the Iraqi people.


A meeting was held in Baghdad between the Officers-in-Charge of UN agencies and MoFA officials. MoFA encouraged UN agencies to resume their activities. UN staff outlined activities would be carried out on a voluntary basis and subject to the prevailing security situation. MoFA also welcomed any initiative to enhance the humanitarian supplies to Iraq.

Larnaca, 24 March 2003