Iraq: Humanitarian Bulletin, April 2019 | Issued on 14 May 2019
• HCT drafts plan to account for humanitarian needs of 31,000 Iraqi civilians returning from Syria
• UNICEF, WHO and Ministry of Heath work together to prevent polio
• UNITAD and Government of Iraq begin exhumations of Kojo Village
• Maintaining humanitarian space in Ninewa
Joint Launch of 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan and Government of Iraq Humanitarian Plan
On 29 April 2019, the humanitarian community in Iraq and the Government of Iraq held a joint event to officially launch the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan, in parallel to the Government of Iraq’s 2019 humanitarian plan.
Attendees included ministers, members of parliament, diplomats, United Nations representatives and journalists. Speakers included the Secretary General of the Council of Ministers, Hamid Naim al-Ghazi; Karim Sinjari, Interior Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government; and Ayman Gharaibeh, the acting Humanitarian Coordinator.
In his remarks, Mr. Gharaibeh highlighted the reasons for the continued displacement of approximately 1.7 million Iraqis, including damaged or destroyed homes, unexploded ordinance, insecurity, missing identification documents, or a lack of services and jobs in their areas of origin.
He noted how the 2019 HRP will help address some of these issues, as the Plan is based on comprehensive data gathered during a rigorous country-wide needs assessment carried out by humanitarian actors over several months in 2018. The Plan aims to deliver targeted assistance to 1.75 million Iraqis in 30 districts where conditions are considered to have the highest severity.
Polio Immunization Campaign Launched
On 7-April-2019, the Iraqi Ministry of Health, WHO and UNICEF launched a nationwide week-long polio immunization campaign. Health teams went from house to house to ensure that all targeted children were covered, particularly vulnerable children in hard to access and marginalized communities such as internally displaced persons and refugees. During the campaign, more than 5.8 million children under the age of 5 years in all 18 governorates were reached. No case of polio has been recorded in Iraq for many years; periodic vaccination campaigns and awareness-raising operations are part of regular humanitarian programming in the country.