2017 IN REVIEW
Humanitarian situation in 2017
The humanitarian situation in Iraq remained extremely volatile throughout 2017 as the Government’s military operations shifted and political and inter-group tensions rose. National and international efforts to help people who were affected by recurrent conflicts constituted one of the largest and most complex humanitarian operations in the world.
Since 2014, almost 6 million people have been displaced by virtually non-stop conflicts across the country’s 18 governorates. In 2017 alone, 1.7 million civilians fled their homes due to a series of intense military offensives against ISIL in Ninewa, Salah al-Din, Kirkuk and Anbar governorates, as well as hostilities in the disputed territories following the September referendum led by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Across the country, an estimated 11 million people required some form of humanitarian aid in 2017.
Successive, concurrent displacement cycles call for agile and flexible humanitarian assistance
Although the crisis affected the whole of Iraqi society, internally displaced persons (IDPs) in camps, returnees and resident communities who were unable to access social protection services, and survivors of abuse and violence were particularly vulnerable and required critical life-saving and protection assistance.
As frontlines of military operations shifted, triggering new surges in displacement while returns continued to stabilized areas, the priority needs of these groups diversified. Displaced people required rapid and concerted response support while returnees faced dire conditions in their places of origin with grave risks of explosive hazards and a lack of basic services. Protection remained a priority throughout the year with social, ethnic and political tensions, particularly in disputed areas, putting millions at risk. Underlying all humanitarian response efforts, social cohesion and reconciliation assistance are needed to enable safe and dignified returns and co-existence after years of conflict.
2017 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP)
The 2017 HRP aimed to reach 6.2 million highly vulnerable people affected by the crisis in Iraq with emergency assistance and protection support sequenced across first-line, second-line and full cluster responses. Humanitarian partners committed to four Strategic Objectives: 1) reach as many people in need as possible across Iraq; 2) facilitate and advocate for voluntary, safe and dignified returns; 3) help people brutalized by violence cope and recover from trauma; and 4) give options to families to live in Iraq in dignity.
The HRP received generous donor contributions of $907 million, which covered 92 per cent of the total funding requirements. The funding supported 158 humanitarian partners – including UN agencies, national and international NGOs, and RC/RC organizations – who together reached 8 million people with life-saving and life-sustaining assistance, surpassing the original target. The progress of the HRP was tracked by clusters and compiled by OCHA into monthly Humanitarian Dashboards and a dynamic online HRP monitoring dashboard.
Security and access constraints
Operating amid unpredictable security situations involving multiple security forces and other armed groups, humanitarian partners in Iraq faced frequent security threats and access constraints throughout 2017. Through civil-military-coordination and access negotiation efforts, humanitarians liaised with Iraqi security forces to ensure that protection of civilians was prioritized in military operations. Standardized procedures were established to facilitate needs assessments and deliver direct assistance across numerous checkpoints in a safe, timely and predictable manner to the extent possible.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.