IOM Iraq Conducts Gender-based Non-Food Needs Assessment

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Iraq - In 2015 IOM distributed over 74,000 lifesaving non-food item (NFI) kits as one component of IOM’s on-going response to the continuing humanitarian crisis in Iraq. These NFI distributions assisted over 427,000 vulnerable internally displaced persons (IDPs) across Iraq’s 18 governorates.

IOM’s NFI kit items are selected to meet the needs of IDPs and seasonal priorities. Full NFI kits include a kitchen set, a hygiene kit, tarpaulin, rechargeable light, mattresses, and pillows. Summer kits also include a fan, a cool box and plastic mat; winter kits include a carpet, a heater, and warm blankets.

In anticipation of NFI needs for 2016, and as part of IOM’s evidence-based approach, IOM, with funding from the Government of Japan, conducted a Gender NFI Needs Assessment in nine governorates of Iraq: Anbar, Baghdad, Basra, Kirkuk, Missan, Najaf, Ninewa, Salah al-Din and Thi-Qar. The assessment, conducted in late 2015, explores the different NFI needs of internally displaced women, men, boys and girls living in camps and critical shelter arrangements.

In an effort to tailor the content of future NFI kits to meet the needs of beneficiaries over time, IOM carried out focus group discussions and quantitative questionnaires with a total of 496 women, men, boys and girls. The findings of the assessment revealed that in addition to gender and shelter type, NFI needs are mainly affected by the IDPs’ background, place of origin, and duration of displacement.

The findings of the assessment showed that more than 70 percent of both men and women interviewed expressed a need for basic household items such as mattresses, heaters, cookware, lighting and storage containers.

A greater percentage of women identified the following items as a priority: cooking facilities, washing container, sheets, and hygiene/sanitation items, including sterilizer/antiseptic, dish detergent, insect bite treatment and sanitary pads. Men highlighted the need for the following hygiene/sanitation items: razors, clippers and shaving cream.

As part of the assessment, IOM conducted a data validation exercise with IOM’s field-based Rapid Assessment and Response Teams, and review of culturally appropriate approaches for the distribution of sensitive personal items.

IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Thomas Lothar Weiss said: "Thanks to the Government of Japan, this gender-specific data on the needs of displaced Iraqis – women, men, boys and girls – will enable IOM Iraq to further tailor the items in our non-food item kits. It will inform our humanitarian response to ensure IOM addresses the needs of vulnerable displaced Iraqis, in coordination with the United Nations Humanitarian Country Team, humanitarian partners, government authorities and donors.”

Assessment findings have been summarized in the “Comprehensive Gender Non-Food Item Needs Assessment” report. The report and data are available upon request from IOM.

For further information, please contact IOM Iraq. Sandra Black, Tel. +964 751 234 2550, Email: or Liane Guglielmetti at IOM Iraq, Email: