Iraq: Humanitarian Bulletin, September 2020

Situation Report
Originally published
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  • COVID-19 in IDP and Refugee Camps

  • Returns to Sinjar and Al Ba’aj

  • SGBV in Informal Settlements

  • Facilitated Returns from Salamiyah Camp

  • Mapping Cash Transfers

  • The Impact of COVID-19 on Conflict-affected Communities

COVID-19 in IDP and Refugee Camps

The first case of COVID-19 in a refugee camp was confirmed at the end of April 2020, and in an IDP camp at the end of May 2020. Isolated cases of transmission continued over the summer; humanitarian partners have supported the Government in preventing or mitigating transmission in camps, establishing contact tracing, and adapting camp services to assist IDPs and refugees in quarantine and isolation. Transmission rates in camps increased in September 2020, as they did in the rest of the Iraq, largely attributed to large crowds which gathered to mark the religious festival of Ashura. As of 30 September 2020, the World Health Organization's (WHO) Dynamic COVID-19 Dashboard recorded 134 cases in 32 IDP and refugee camps: 17 active cases, 110 cured cases, and seven fatalities.

In view of the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Iraq, humanitarian organizations have been working together to scaleup support to the Government in managing a larger number of cases in camps. Technical guidance in the form of suggested operating procedures has been drafted, including on the recommended establishment of quarantine and isolation units within each camp, where possible. Humanitarian organizations are also working with Government counterparts to identify the financial, material and personnel requirements for full preparedness, mitigation and response in each camp.

In parallel, international and national NGOs funded by the Iraq Humanitarian Fund (IHF) have revised existing projects to incorporate assistance adapted to the context of the pandemic. One national NGO, Dary Human Organization, worked to ensure proper implementation of infection and prevention control in IHFsupported health facilities through the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) to health staff and contracting to disinfect premises. COVID-19 health promotion and awareness sessions were provided by IHF-supported primary health clinics to improve beneficiaries' awareness for proper infection and prevention control measures.

Other national and international NGOs funded by the IHF provided awareness-raising sessions and hygiene kits for vulnerable IDPs, returnees and host communities in Duhok, Kirkuk, Al-Anbar and Ninewa, and for out-of-camp IDPs in Ninewa, Salah Al-Din and Al-Anbar.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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