Millions of people throughout Iraq continue to suffer the consequences of armed conflict and the lingering effects of past violence. Tens of thousands of people were killed or injured. Since 2014, over 3,3 million people have been displaced in various parts of the country.
In addition, over 140,000 people have been displaced since October 2016, when the Iraqi military launched a campaign to retake the city of Mosul. Displaced people and communities living near frontlines, in retaken villages or other affected areas have limited, if any, access to essential services and basic supplies, due to widespread violence and the destruction of vital infrastructure.
With its established countrywide presence in Iraq, the ICRC was able to respond quickly to the needs of people effected by fighting, including those living near the frontlines and in areas where there are few or no other humanitarian organizations. In response to the increased needs linked to the Mosul military operation, the ICRC scaled up its activities during the last months of 2016. As a core part of its mandate, it promoted compliance with international humanitarian law and other rules protecting civilians. It assisted internally displaced persons, host communities and returnees in newly retaken areas with food and essential household items; while other conflict-affected communities were provided with cash and livelihood support.
The ICRC also helped improve access to water and health services for millions of people. It visited detainees to monitor their treatment and living conditions, including their access to health care and the respect for judicial guarantees. It facilitated contact between relatives separated owing to current and past conflicts.