Prepared by: Ziyad El Baz, Access Advisor
Alexandra Saieh, Advocacy Manager
Mission dates: 26 – 29 Aug 2018
Report date: 09 Sep 2018
The recent social unrest in Basra is a product of the intersection of longstanding grievances towards political corruption, government neglect and unemployment, as well as the socioeconomic impact of a chronic water crisis. A lack of access to clean water in Basra governorate has generated a public health crisis, fuelling public anger. In addition, a gradual reduction in the water flow to Iraq’s marshlands has also contributed to migration from rural areas to the cities, heightening competition over jobs in the cities of southern provinces, and also contributed to fuelling social unrest. Tribal dynamics have shaped the allocation of jobs in the oil sector in Basra, fuelling further resentment and competition over employment opportunities.
The Norwegian Refugee Council should conduct additional field visits and use this opportunity to consider programming that bridge humanitarian-development divide. NRC should leverage both its global expertise as a displacement agency and extensive experience in WASH programming in both urban and rural displacement settings to pilot innovative programming that address the emerging needs in Southern Iraq.
Donor governments should scale-up support to civil society with support and partnership with international agencies.
Displacement agencies should begin tracking displacement as a result of economic and climate considerations across Iraq, starting with Iraq’s southern province.