Iraq: Humanitarian Bulletin, January - March 2022



  • Launch of 2022 HNO/HRP

  • Humanitarian Transition

  • HC High-Level Meetings on Displacement

  • ABCs in Practice

  • Launch of GBV Strategy

  • Overview of 2021 IHF Allocations

2022 Humanitarian Needs Overview and Humanitarian Response Plan Published

The 2022 Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) and 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for Iraq were published in March 2022. The 2022 Iraq HNO focuses on the humanitarian needs of the people displaced by the 2014-2017 attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and subsequent military operations to defeat them. The analysis covers all districts in Iraq that were either directly impacted by the crisis or which host internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returnees, namely in the governorates of Al-Anbar, Baghdad, Diyala, Duhok, Erbil, Kirkuk, Ninewa, Salah Al-Din and Al-Sulaymaniyah. The HNO found 2.5 million people in Iraq remain in need of humanitarian assistance, a decrease of the 4.1 million assessed to be in need in 2021.

It has been eight years since the first emergence of ISIL. The intervening years have been filled with suffering, destruction, the fraying of a diverse social tapestry, and the internal displacement of some 6 million Iraqis. More recently, these years have given way to a new – albeit tenuous – hope for the future, as the country progresses towards recovery. Since the conclusion of formal military operations against ISIL in 2017, significant reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts have restored roads, reopened local markets, restarted public water and electricity, and rebuilt housing, health facilities and schools. Approximately 4.9 million previously displaced Iraqis have returned to their home districts.

Given the accelerated efforts towards durable solutions, including the development of a durable solutions framework and nexus coordination architecture, and cognizant that many of the remaining challenges require long-term structural solutions beyond the humanitarian response, the humanitarian community in Iraq revised its approach to humanitarian needs analysis for the 2022 HNO. The definition and measurement of humanitarian needs was revised and tightened to better identify those with the highest levels of vulnerability. Specific attention was paid to those whose lives remain uprooted, who live in critical emergency shelter, who lost their civil documentation during the crisis, or for whom access to essential services or livelihoods opportunities remains compromised due to the large-scale destruction and displacement that took place between 2014 and 2017.

This tightened analysis reveals that an estimated 2.5 million people remain vulnerable and require some form of humanitarian or similar assistance. For them, the situation has not improved over the past year, and many continue to face a range of issues that prevent them from fully recovering, regaining self-sufficiency and achieving long-term stability. However, the underlying causes of these challenges – such as lack of social cohesion, high levels of poverty, and inadequate social services in areas of origin – are better assisted through longer-term engagement and investments by the government and development actors. A smaller number of people, with deep and multiple needs that require life-saving and life-sustaining assistance, are prioritized for humanitarian assistance in 2022 to ensure maximum impact.

Addressing the continuing humanitarian consequences of the 2014-2017 crisis and related displacement is the central priority for humanitarian action in Iraq in 2022. Based on the tighter humanitarian needs analysis and the agreed targeting criteria, the 2022 Iraq HRP will prioritize life-saving and life-sustaining humanitarian assistance for 991,000 Iraqi IDPs and returnees, including 180,000 IDPs in formal camps, 234,000 IDPs living in out-of-camp areas, and 577,000 returnees. The total cost of the response, as outlined in the HRP, amounts to US$400 million. The 2022 HRP focuses on providing safe and dignified living conditions, protecting IDPs and returnees from physical and mental harm related to the impact of the ISIL crisis.

Humanitarian actors seek to improve unsafe living environments for people living in camps, informal sites or other critical shelter—or in areas with EO contamination—while also providing specialized protection services to the people most at risk of rights violations, violence, abuse and other serious protection risks. Humanitarian partners will provide support to vulnerable IDPs and returnees to access essential services that they are otherwise unable to access, either because they face specific barriers or because they live in areas where services and infrastructure have not yet been rehabilitated. The most acutely vulnerable IDPs and returnees will be supported with emergency food assistance, emergency livelihoods support and temporary cash to meet their most basic needs and avoid reliance on harmful negative coping mechanisms for their survival.

The 991,000 acutely vulnerable people who will be the focused target of this HRP, are located across 14 of the 18 governorates of Iraq. The six governorates with the highest target populations are Ninewa (356,000 people), Al-Anbar (166,000), Duhok (155,000), Salah Al-Din (92,000), Kirkuk (66,000) and Diyala (55,000). The largest numbers of in-camp IDPs targeted through the HRP are in Duhok (110,000), Ninewa (45,000), Erbil (14,000) and Al-Sulaymaniyah (11,000), while the governorates hosting the most out-of-camp IDPs are Ninewa (60,000), Duhok (46,000), Erbil (34,000) and Al-Anbar (24,000). For returnees, the largest number is also in Ninewa (249,000), followed by Al-Anbar (141,000), Salah Al-Din (73, 000), Kirkuk (54,000) and Diyala (45,000) .

In 2022, the humanitarian response will be delivered and coordinated through eight operational clusters, including three protection Areas of Responsibility (AoR), Coordination and Common Services (CCS) and the CWG. The 141 partners, clusters, CCS and the CWG will require $400 million to implement 93 activities. Each activity was designed to support vulnerable IDPs in camps and acutely vulnerable out-of-camp IDPs and returnees to live in safety and dignity, access essential services or meet their basic needs. Planning for cash-based interventions has been recommended where cash is the preferred response modality of the affected population, where it is feasible to provide cash, and where such assistance has proved effective in the past.


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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