Iraq: Humanitarian Access Snapshot (February 2020)

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For the third consecutive month, humanitarian partners continued to face access restrictions as a result of lack of national government access authorizations for NGOs. Throughout February, no national-level access authorization letters were granted for NGO implementing partners of the UN, for staff movements or supplies, which prevented humanitarian actors from carrying out critical missions in support of Iraq’s vulnerable people. Humanitarian partners reported 63 access incidents across 22 districts, with approximately 67 per cent taking place in the governorate of Ninewa. Approximately 14 per cent of all access incidents took place within Salah Al-Din Governorate while nine per cent took place in Baghdad Governorate. The office of the Humanitarian Coordinator and OCHA have been working with government counterparts to establish a new procedure for NGO implementing partners of the UN to request and receive national access letters.

Government restrictions on movements intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19 also had an impact on humanitarian activity, and for example, on 25 February, the Governor of Salah Al-Din issued a governorate-wide restriction on the entry of foreign nationals, including foreign aid workers, into the Governorate. It should also be underscored that the lack of national-level access authorizations, would restrict the ability of humanitarian partners to respond to a significant health emergency in Iraq, should support be required in one of the 67 formal IDP camps, numerous informal settlements or more generally in Iraqi communities.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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