Iraq + 1 more

Iraq Crisis Situation Report No. 19 (1 November – 7 November 2014)

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Situation Report
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Highlights

  • The Level 3 declaration for Iraq has been extended by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee for another six months.

  • Preparations are underway in Dahuk Governorate for the relocation of an estimated 26,000 IDPs from 104 secondary schools in the coming weeks.

  • The Ministry of Displacement and Migration has completed construction of the first 27 units of 1,000 prefabricated shelters at a camp in Khanaqin in Diyala Governorate.

  • Humanitarian actors have completed winterisation assistance for 2,554 IDP families and 670 Syrian refugee families in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq’s Sulaymaniyah Governorate.

  • There is a gap of US$173 million for winterisation activities.

Situation Overview

The Government of Iraq said Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and its armed group affiliates killed 332 members of the Sunni Albu Nimr tribe in the past week, including 50 women and children. The Albu Nimr tribe had for weeks resisted an ISIL assault on their village of Zauiyat Albu Nimr but reportedly ran low on ammunition and were overtaken. The Heet District, where the clashes occurred, was the origin of the Sunni Awakening Council, which successfully fought and ejected Al-Qaeda in Iraq. The recent attacks and killings are thought to have been conceived to deter Sunni tribes from resisting ISIL hegemony in Anbar Governorate. In response, according to a local report, a 40-tribe Sunni coalition has been formed to fight against ISIL in the governorate. Estimates for the number of people displaced by the attacks on the Albu Nimr tribe vary, but may be in the tens of thousands. NGO partners are reporting that people displaced by recent fighting between government forces and ISIL and their armed group affiliates in Diyala Governorate are being denied entry to Khanaqin and Kalar towns by Kurdish security forces. OCHA has also received reports that 100 IDP families arrived in Kifri after they were prevented from entering Kalar and Khanaqin. This is in addition to the arrival in recent weeks of 1,600 IDP displaced families from Khanaqin District to Kifri.
Clashes in Sinjar district (Ninewa Governorate) between ISIL and self-defense fighters and other armed groups have reportedly caused the displacement of an undetermined number of people from Sinjar town. The town is said to have been vacated of all people except for ISIL elements. Reports also continue to warn of an impending ISIL attack on the Yezidi shrine of Sharaf El-Deen on the northern ridge of Sinjar mountain. The shrine is the second-most important for Yezidi’s pre-Islamic Sufist-influenced religion. Reports have also indicated that thousands of people, possibly including displaced people, living on Mount Sinjar are in need of humanitarian assistance. However, there remains conflicting information from other sources, including people on the mountain, as to the numbers (or even presence) of civilians. Due to insecurity, humanitarian actors are not able to access the affected area, including the mountain, and are unable to independently verify the reports.
Recent fighting near Rabia, northwest of Sinjar, and Zummar have also displaced an unknown number of people southwards towards Al-Qaim, according to unconfirmed reports. Local authorities in Dahuk Governorate indicated this week that some 200 families returned to Zummar from Zakho, while another 130 families departed the Garmawa IDP camp in Sheikhan District (Ninewa Governorate) during the previous week.
Preparations are underway in Dahuk Governorate for the relocation of an estimated 26,000 IDPs from 104 secondary schools in the coming weeks. The occupation of schools by IDPs has delayed the start of the 2014/2015 academic year. While in most other governorates schools opened in October, Dahuk Governorate was further delayed as it hosts more than 450,000 internally displaced persons (IDP) across its four districts of Zumel, Zakho, Dahuk and Amedi, accounting for 24 per cent of Iraq’s overall 1.9 million IDP caseload. As of 27 October, 386 schools in Dahuk Governorate remained occupied by IDPs. Local authorities are planning for schooling to resume across the governorate on 1 December.
The relocation exercise will begin with the movement of an estimated 1,800 displaced families (11,000 individuals) from 29 secondary schools in Zakho district to Chamishku Camp, beginning on 9 November. Distribution of tent numbers and tokens was to be conducted on 8 November. Local authorities will facilitate transportation. Government security personnel and social workers will be prepositioned at the points of departure and the camps as there is expected to be some reluctance by the displaced to exchange the brick and mortar shelter offered by schools for tented shelter, which is not seen as providing sufficient protection against the harsh winter climate. UN agencies and NGOs will be on site to support and advise during the relocations. The relocation had been scheduled to begin with movements to the newly built camps of Sharia and Khadia, but delays at these camps caused a change in the plan.
The Ministry of Displacement and Migration has completed construction of the first 27 units of 1,000 prefabricated shelters at their "model" camp in Khanaqin in Diyala Governorate, with UN and NGO support to provide basic services such as WASH and education. The 1,000 IDP families that will benefit from this camp are less than 10 per cent of the approximately 12,000 IDP families in and around Khanaqin and there is expected to be fierce competition for the prefabricated units, which could raise tensions among the IDP community. Prefabricated units, and other rigid structures such as caravans, are highly valued by displaced people for the protection they provide against winter weather, as opposed to the more fragile tented shelter. Humanitarian actors are suggesting government should have a selection criteria that prioritises the elderly, families with children under five years old, people with disabilities and single mothers. However, “able-bodied” IDP families should also be provided for, so as not to stigmatize the households in the units.
The UN and its humanitarian partners began preparations for winter in July 2014. A comprehensive and country-wide winterisation response is ongoing. For example UNHCR and its local partner have completed winterisation assistance for 2,554 IDP families and 670 Syrian refugee families in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq’s Sulaymaniyah Governorate. The winterisation kit includes blankets, plastic sheets, water jerry cans, kerosene jerry cans and kerosene heaters and stoves. Winterisation efforts require immediate financial support of US$173.1 million in order to enhance delivery capacity and avoid a further exacerbation of the humanitarian crisis in Iraq.
According to the latest Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) exercise up to 26 October, about 145,000 people were displaced in the previous five weeks in Ninewa, Kirkuk and Anbar. Humanitarians continue to be particularly concerned about civilians that are living under siege-like conditions in various areas across the country. Needs in these areas are particularly high, while access to humanitarian assistance and basic goods is exceptionally difficult.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.