Concept of Operations – Iraq Operation, 11 July 2018
During 2018, humanitarian partners estimate that 8.7 million people across Iraq will require some form of humanitarian assistance. Nearly 80 percent of the population requiring assistance are concentrated in Ninewa, Kirkuk and Anbar governorates. Ninewa remains the epicentre of the crisis: of the 46 percent of the Iraqis who need assistance, four million people live in Ninewa (Source: OCHA, HRP 2018)
The Iraqi military launched a large operation in October 2016, supported by international forces, to retake control of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city located in the Ninewa Governorate, which had been under the control of Islamic State (IS) militants since June 2014. One million people were evacuated and severe damage was reported, particularly in and around the Old City on the western bank. Operations to retake other areas that remained under IS control, including Telafar, Hawija, Shirqat, and Western Anbar, were also conducted during 2017 with tens of thousands of additional displacements recorded mostly across Kirkuk, Salah al-Din, and Anbar governorates.
Overall, more than 1.8 million Iraqis are currently displaced throughout the country and humanitarian access remains an ongoing challenge due to the volatile environment and an unpredictable security situation. There continues to be shifts and changing restrictions with regards to customs clearance and internal access approvals, particularly regarding movements between the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) and Federal Iraq. Additional logistics issues remain around disputed territories. These constraints and the nature of the operational context will persist and require a flexible and mobile humanitarian response.
The Logistics Cluster will facilitate access to common storage for the humanitarian community, including for contingency stocks and consolidation purposes. The Logistics Cluster will maintain a coordination and information management role to maximise the use of available resources in-country, provide support and advocacy for customs clearance and government liaison, and ensure a more coordinated and effective operational approach.
Logistics Gaps and Bottlenecks
The major constraints on humanitarian organisations’ ability to respond to the needs of affected populations throughout Iraq continue to be: inconsistent access due to insecurity, a rapidly changing security situation and an unstable operational context. Specifically, the following logistics gaps have been identified:
Ongoing needs for logistics coordination and information, due to an unpredictable operational scenario with high camp populations, a largescale and uncertain returns process and secondary displacement throughout several governorates with different structures and authorities.
Presence of various armed actors on key supply routes.
Delays in the customs and clearances process due to bureaucratic processes or, in case of significantly altered procedures for incoming cargo and in-country commodity movements both to/from the KRI and Federal Iraq.
Potential lack of handling and storage capacity at key entry points should there be a significant increase in the amount of supplies being brought in country, particularly at previously unused entry points