Iraq: Humanitarian Bulletin, September 2018 | Issued on 15 October 2018 [EN/AR/KU]
• OCHA Co-Chairs events on preventing sexual exploitation and abuse and international humanitarian law at UN General Assembly.
• Humanitarians seek to plug gaps in emergency food assistance to IDPs.
• IOM Index provides insight into return areas most in need of humanitarian assistance.
• Humanitarian community begins preparations for 2019 Humanitarian Programme Cycle.
• Iraq Humanitarian Fund support WHO and UNICEF in nationwide measles vaccination campaign.
OCHA-led High Level Events at UNGA73
The 73rd session of the UN General Assembly opened on 18 September 2018. In its margins, OCHA organized a number of high level side events on issues of priority to the humanitarian community.
Two events of particular significance to the Iraq context were “Safe and Respected: Preventing Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment in the Humanitarian Sector” and “Civilians Under Fire:
Humanitarian Protection and Respect for International Humanitarian Law.”
Preventing sexual exploitation and abuse is critical to the accountable delivery of aid to people in need, but also to the integrity of humanitarian organizations and workers, and the safeguarding of humanitarian principles. The high-level event on PSEA, co-chaired by OCHA and the United Kingdom, provided an overview of the progress across the system on commitments made by IASC Principals, and established areas in which further action is required. The gender-balanced panel highlighted achievements by humanitarian partners around the following priorities:
Ensuring a victim-centered approach to addressing sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) and sexual harassment and abuse (SHA);
Promoting positive change in organizational culture through strategic communications and role modeling;
Improving referencing systems to stop transgressors from moving through the humanitarian sector;
Strengthening sector-wide investigations capacity; and
Supporting collective activities of in-country networks to SEA and SHA
The High-Level event on International Humanitarian Law (IHL), co-chaired by OCHA, the European Union and Belgium, emphasized that “even wars have limits,” and drew attention to the human cost of armed conflicts and the consequences of IHL violations on civilians, with a focus on humanitarian action, medical care, and education. Panellists advocated for all parties engaged in conflict to comply with IHL and the imperative for humanitarian protection. Such messaging followed on from the 2018 World Humanitarian Day theme of #NotATarget, which urged global leaders to do a better job of protecting civilians and aid workers in armed conflict.