Iraq + 1 more

Iraq Crisis Situation Report No. 21 (15 – 21 November 2014) [EN/AR/KU]

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Situation Report
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Highlights

  • The Government of Iraq has dispatched more than 3.3 million litres of fuel from Kirkuk to be distributed to displaced and vulnerable families in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

  • A three-vehicle UN convoy making its way from the airport to Baghdad’s international zone was targeted by an improvised explosive device on 17 November.

  • In the Kurdistan Region of Iraq capital of Erbil on 19 November six people, including the attacker, were killed and about 29 people injured in a suicide bombing attack in the city centre.

  • Family Food Parcels have been provided to 94,375 IDPs since 1 November.

Situation Overview

The Government of Iraq has dispatched more than 3.3 million litres of fuel from Kirkuk to be distributed to displaced and vulnerable families in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR-I) three governorates of Erbil, Dahuk and Sulaymaniyah. The fuel for heating and cooking purposes is desperately needed as the winter weather begins to descend. Each selected family will receive 50 litres of fuel and it will be distributed under the aegis of the governorate’s governors. It is anticipated that in total 12 million litres of fuel will be made available to IDPs and vulnerable people in the KR-I by the government from Kirkuk stores. The Dahuk Governorate, which hosts 22 per cent of Iraq’s IDPs, has already received 1.474 million litres; Erbil 850,000; and Sulaymaniyah Governorate half million litres.

The dispatch of the fuel came a few days after Iraq Security Forces, broke the siege by ISIL and its affiliated armed groups of the country’s largest refinery in Baiji in Salah al-Din Governorate. The refinery has sustained severe damage and repairs could take up to a year. While Iraq is the world’s second largest oil exporting country holding the fifth largest known crude oil reserves, the 11 month conflict and the absence of a budget law have gravely impaired Iraq’s oil production and exports, development projects, and foreign investment.

The latest information from IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) indicates insecurity continues to fuel displacement from the governorates of Kirkuk, Anbar, Salah al-Din, Diyala, and Ninewa. Since 1 September 203,652 individuals have been displaced following several localised conflicts affecting Iraq’s north central region. The Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) is now using 2.1 million IDPs across Iraq as a planning figure for the humanitarian response. The fluid nature of the conflict between ISIL and its armed group affiliates and government security forces is expected to lead to further displacements during the winter months.

The freedom of movement of IDPs fleeing conflict zones remains a pressing concern. Approximately half of the 400 recently-arrived families seeking entry to the KR-I through the Sherawa (Kirkuk-Erbil) and Sheikh Abdul Qader (Mosul-Erbil) access points were reportedly refused entry to the region. A new procedure for entry to the KR-I is reportedly in operation after the sponsorship system was discontinued in early November. IDPs must now first present themselves to the police office in Kirkuk for screening and approval before being permitted to cross checkpoints into Erbil Governorate. One example of IDPs being denied humanitarian assistance because of the prevention of movement are 215 families who were displaced multiple times and are now living in Tal Naqar village, near the Diyala Governorate Kifri town. The IDPs were displaced from Salah al-Din Governorate in June 2014 to Khanaqin District in Diyala Governorate. They were refused entry to Khanaqin and Kifri by Kurdish Peshmerga forces and have been stranded, living in makeshift shelters, for the past four months without any humanitarian assistance. Humanitarian actors are now responding to their needs.

Currently 18 camps have either been established or are in the process of being completed out of a planned 26 camps in the KR-I. These camps have different standards and some are not yet winterised. In Dahuk, all residents of the informal settlement of Wargeha Delal have been relocated to Berseve II, with a capacity of 1,820 families (10,920 individuals), although the infrastructures in the camp are yet to be completed. The relocation from this settlement was deemed a priority because it was both prone to flooding and any installation of services to improve conditions would have been complicated by issues of land ownership. Winter rain is causing leakages in the Berseve II camp tents, and this is only prevented with an additional plastic sheeting being used as a fly-sheet.

The evacuation of schools in Dahuk Governorate against a 1 December target date for the start of the delayed 2014/2015 academic year is proceeding at a rapid pace. In about a 10 day period, about 80 per cent of the remaining occupied schools have been evacuated, many of which are now undergoing renovations. Many of the displaced have been relocated to IDP camps and local authorities have confirmed that the recently-opened camps of Chamishku (30,000 individuals) and Sharya (24,000 individuals) are full. All schools in the governorates Zakho District have been evacuated, and this is allowing for other displaced, initially those living in open areas such as parks and in sub-standard informal camp settlements, to be bought into the formal camp system and provided better shelter. About 100 schools are still occupied in Dahuk and Sumel districts. There are increasing concerns of space allocated for education purposes in camps, and funding shortages for education for IDPs are severely impacting the response. For example in Khanke Camp, only two schools are planned for 5,000 school children and in Sharya Camp tented schools will only be able to accommodate 10 per cent of school-age children.

Between 10 October and 17 November, 19,636 refugees have crossed into the territory after fleeing from Kobani in Syria, to join 217,000 refugees already in Iraq. Relief agencies initially expected a maximum of 15,000 Syrian refugees fleeing fighting in around Kobani to seek refuge in the region. The majority of the newly arrived Syrian refugees in KR-I, who are not staying with relatives or friends, are being settled in the Erbil Governorate camp of Qushtapa and the Sulaymaniyah Governorate camp of Arbat.

On 17 November a three-vehicle UN convoy making its way from the airport to Baghdad’s international zone was targeted by an improvised explosive device. There were no injuries or deaths from the attack. In Erbil on 19 November six people were killed, including the attacker, and about 20 people injured in a suicide bombing attack in the city centre.

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