Iraq: Humanitarian Access Snapshot (As of 31 December 2020)

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For the third consecutive month, relatively few access issues were reported, with nineteen incidents reported, or 70 per cent fewer than the parallel monthly averages from January to November 2020.

Although incidents may be under-reported, the decrease may also indicate an improvement in access conditions with the federal government’s launch of the national access authorization online platform at the end of September 2020. Nevertheless, several incidents resulted in multiple humanitarian partners being impeded from accessing or conducting activities, which resulted in delays in assistance to approximately 210,000 people in need in some areas in the governorates of Al Anbar, Kirkuk and Salah Al Din.

Conditions continue to be challenging in Kirkuk. The Kirkuk Operations Command (KOC) continues to demand that NGOs with valid National Operations Centre movement letters also obtain additional authorizations in order to operate in the districts of Hawiga and Daquq. As a result, in Hawiga district (Kirkuk), four incidents affected the projects of 19 organizations.

Anecdotal reports of interference in planning and targeting of opening or ongoing projects continue in all areas but are not reflected in reported incidents. In the site formerly used as Hamdaniya Camp (closed 29 December 2020), police authorities reportedly entered the area and took assets that were waiting to be inventoried before transport. In another instance, armed actors visited a centre run by a humanitarian organization and demanded information regarding staff names, nationalities, funding and activities. There were also reports of armed escorts being imposed on humanitarian convoys carrying international staff to Salamiyah camp. Several organizations that have policies prohibiting military escorts have indicated that they may be forced to suspend missions to the camp with international staff unless the situation is resolved.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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