The Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) Services for Communities (S4C) Advisor deployed to Iraq to oversee the implementation of the expansion of S4C services.
The ETC is now providing Internet connectivity in two additional sites in Hajj Ali Airstrip bringing the total number of sites with access to ETC Internet connectivity to 14.
The ETC is also collaborating closely with the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) Internally Displaced People (IDP) Call Centre. This enables affected communities in camps where the ETC is providing Internet connectivity to call the official helpdesk for support and information.
Around 3.2 million Internally Displaced People (IDPs) have returned to their places of origin although 2.6 million are still displaced in the centre south region of Iraq. More than 800 families have been re-displaced to other camps and there are increasing protection concerns over disappearances, collective punishments and a volatile security environment in Shirqat district in particular.
The 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan was launched in early February which focuses on addressing the needs of the 3.4 million people in Iraq who are most vulnerable, with an overall budget of around US$569 million.
Tensions between Baghdad and Erbil continue after the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) held a referendum on independence in September 2017. The central government has since retaliated by taking control of Kirkuk and the surrounding areas in the disputed territories, while imposing a ban on international flights from two major airports in Kurdistan, including Erbil. Humanitarians must now travel to Baghdad International Airport