Iraq: Humanitarian Access Snapshot (July 2020)

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In July 2020, humanitarian partners reported 77 access incidents across 22 districts. Ninewa Governorate had the highest number of incidents, with approximately 39 per cent reported. Across all governorates, approximately 95 percent of the incidents reported constituted administrative restrictions on humanitarian activities and movements. It is estimated that more than 231,000 people in need were affected by access-related incidents that took place in Ninewa (71%), Kirkuk (27%),
Al- Anbar (1%) and Baghdad (1%).
The administrative restriction on humanitarian activities and movements in Iraq that began at the end of 2019 with the government’s suspension of the national-level access authorization letters for non-government organisations (NGOs), remains the most critical access difficulty facing humanitarian operations throughout the country. Most incidents reported by NGO humanitarian organisations indicate difficulties related to lack of national level access letter authorizations.

These administrative difficulties further compound the impact of COVID-19 containment measures, including country-wide curfews and inter-governorate movement restrictions. Several incidents in July were attributed to the diagnosis of a suspected Covid-19 case in Hamam Alil camp, resulting in most humanitarian programming, excepting WASH, health and camp management activities, being temporarily suspended in Hamam Al Alil and Salamiah camps. Furthermore, there were three separate reports of UN missions from Erbil to Kirkuk not being authorized due to COVID-19 related movement restrictions.

The extent of bureaucratic impediments faced by humanitarian partners is not fully reflected by the incidents captured in this snapshot. To improve the accuracy of the representation of access challenges in Iraq, humanitarian organizations are encouraged to report all incident details to OCHA sub-offices.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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