Iraq: Humanitarian Bulletin, November 2017 | Issued on 8 December

Situation Report
Originally published



  • Humanitarian community responds rapidly to earthquake affected areas of northeastern Iraq.

  • Some 16,500 people displaced locally or to camps in Anbar, Salah Al-Din and Ninewa since 26 October military operations.

  • Towns in Hawiga report return of 80 percent of pre-2014 populations.

  • UXO hazard decontamination needed.

  • Humanitarian access constraints in northern Iraq hamper delivery of humanitarian services.

  • Heaters, fuel and sanitation upgrades urgently needed in camps across Iraq as winter approaches.


# of people in need 11m

# of people targeted for assistance 6.2m

# of internally displaced persons (IDPs) 3.2m

# of IDPs who live outside camps 2.5m

# of affected ppl within host communities 3.2m

# of returnees 2.3m

# of Syrian refugees 0.23m

Earthquake in northeast Iraq

Humanitarian community rushes to support Government-led response to earthquake affected areas of northeastern Iraq On 12 November 2017 at 21:18 local time, northeast Iraq experienced an earthquake of 7.3 on the Richter scale, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The epicenter of this earthquake was located on the Iraq/ Iran border, 32 km from the city of Halabja in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI).

Nine fatalities were reported and over 550 people were injured due to the earthquake, according to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Most earthquake-related injuries were reported in Darbandikhan district of Sulaymaniyah governorate, and in the Halabja and Garmiyan districts of Quratu governorate. Many houses in Bamo, Darbandikhan and Sharazur and Maidan were damaged or destroyed. The Darbandikhan dam, a multi-purpose embankment on the Diyala river, was also damaged and there initially was a fear of a possible flooding event.

The authorities led immediate rescue and relief efforts and provided food, shelter and medical assistance to the affected areas. In concert with a Council of Ministers Secretariat (CoMSec) assessment team, an OCHA-led inter-agency assessment team completed rapid assessments in the first week and mobilized partners to respond through the cluster system. At the request of the Government of Iraq, a United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team, specialized in disaster response, was deployed on 14 November to support authorities with the humanitarian response and future emergency preparedness measures.

Immediate emergency response included providing emergency medical support to injured people and extracting injured people and bodies from the rubbles of the collapsed structures. Turkey mobilized national humanitarian actors, including the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management (AFAD) and the Turkish Red Crescent, just hours after the earthquake. Humanitarian aid was sent also by the Government of Italy, including medical supplies, tents and non-food items. Health actors provided Sulaymaniyah Hospital with trauma kits immediately after the earthquake and mobilized resources to support Darbandikhan hospital, heavily damaged by the earthquake. Longer term rehabilitation of water treatment plants in the most affected areas needs to occur, and some landslides near the Darbandikhan dam need further buttressing, however there is no imminent threat of flooding.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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