Iraq: Humanitarian Snapshot (August 2020)

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The first case of COVID-19 in an IDP camp was confirmed in late May 2020, in Ninewa governorate. Since then, humanitarian partners have supported the Government in preventing or ending transmission among IDPs in camps, establishing contact tracing, and adapting camp services to assist IDPs in quarantine and isolation. As of 27 August 2020, there were 65 confirmed cases within 20 IDP camps: 26 active cases, 37 recovered patients, and two fatalities. Camp residents accounted for 85 per cent of cases; healthcare workers accounted for 12 per cent; and camp management accounted for 3 per cent.

Prior to the first recorded case in IDP camps, an assessment was undertaken by REACH and the CCCM Cluster² to determine humanitarians’ readiness to respond to an outbreak; interviews were conducted with management of the 43 formal IDP camps in Iraq. As of May 2020, 46 per cent of respondents reported they had developed a COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan; 88 per cent reported they were carrying out active communication with camp residents about COVID-19 preventative measures, and 93 per cent reported there were adequate handwashing facilities to meet residents’ needs.

In view of the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Iraq, humanitarian organizations have been working together to scale-up 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. Organizations are also working with Government counterparts to identify the financial, material and personnel requirements for full preparedness, mitigation and response in each camp.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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