Iraq

Iraq: Humanitarian Update No. 2, Oct 2008

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Highlights

- The status of the 2008 Consolidated Appeal for Iraq and a glimpse into the 2009 CAP

- Update on the Cholera Outbreak

- Protection of Civilians and Population Movement (Displacement)

- Coordination

-  Watch-List

The Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) for Iraq.

2008 CAP

In 2008, UN agencies and NGOs assisted Iraqis at home and in the region through a range of different mechanisms. The first consolidated appeal for Iraq, issued in February, was primarily focussed on assisting displaced and vulnerable Iraqis in-country, requesting $265 million, while across the region the humanitarian community addressed the needs of Iraqi refugees through several different appeals and ad hoc funding requests. These served as a vital channel for relief to families in health, shelter, water, sanitation, education, protection and food aid. However, they did not provide a consolidated picture ofIraq's internal and external humanitarian priorities.

Since the 2008 CAP was issued, Iraq has increased support for humanitarian response and also provided assistance to its neighbours most of whom allow Iraqi refugees some but inadequate access to public services. As Iraq looks to the future, the Iraqi Government has clearly stated its intent to move from foreign assistance to self-sufficiency. The 2009 Consolidated Appeal for Iraq and the Region will support this goal, by reaching Iraq's most vulnerable citizens in-country and abroad, and bringing them a step closer to stability and reconstruction.

The current CAP 2008 funding stands at $164,675,584 out of a [revised mid-year] appeal total of $271,371,554 (60.7%). Funding is variable across sectors and direct funding to NGO projects remains extremely low. That said some NGOs are funded through contributions to UN agencies.

2009 CAP

Better access and data analysis in recent months has allowed Iraq's humanitarian actors an improved understanding of where vulnerabilities exist and therefore, where to focus resources. Among the recent studies resulting in improved understanding of the humanitarian situation in Iraq are the WFP Comprehensive Food  security and Vulnerability Assessment in Iraq and the 2008 UNICEF-sponsored IMPACT surveys. According to the WFP Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Assessment in Iraq, many social indicators have slowly but measurably risen from their lowest levels. Education and infrastructure-related indicators have improved. Unemployment remains stable at 17.5%, while food insecurity appears to have dropped to a quarter of 2005 rates.

These improvements not-withstanding, Iraq's humanitarian needs remain extensive and acute with significant humanitarian gaps. The impact of earlier violence continues to manifest itself nationwide as Iraqi families confront significant erosion of livelihoods and destruction of public assets, resulting in dismal levels of basic social services. The full scale of the damage is only now becoming visible. With the conflict grudgingly receding, pockets of severe deprivation are emerging. Some of these are directly linked to recent armed conflicts; others are a product of years of sanctions and war stretching back more than 25 years.

The humanitarian community has developed a more coherent and strategic approach linking response to existing and the emerging humanitarian needs both inside and outside Iraq in 2009. This approach is reflected in the mutually reinforcing design of the 2009 Consolidated Appeal for Iraq, following wide ranging consultations with all partners at all levels including in Baghdad, Amman and Erbil. It presents the totality of needs for Iraq and the region and comprises two pillars; (i) a national CAP for Iraq, to deliver immediate assistance to the most vulnerable communities and the most deprived-following years of decline in basic social services delivery, which have resulted in pockets of acute vulnerability-and assist Iraqi internally displaced and refugees returning to their homes; and (ii) a regional pillar for countries hosting Iraqi refugees focussing on the urgent Iraqi refugees' humanitarian needs in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey, Iran and the Gulf Cooperation Council States (GCC) and assisting Palestinian, Iranian and Turkish refugees in Iraq until their safe, dignified and voluntary return is possible or other durable solution can be found. The Humanitarian Coordinator supported by OCHA will coordinate Pillar I, while UNHCR with OCHA's support is leading the second Pillar.

The second Consolidated Appeal for Iraq, as such, presents the totality of Iraq's humanitarian needs, both in-country and across the sub-region, representing a major humanitarian coordination effort across 12 countries to support affected Iraqi populations. It targets the most vulnerable families in areas of acute need (Pillar I) and seeks to provide humanitarian, legal and shelter assistance to returnee families (Pillar II). It enhances transparency of the response and provides a framework for enhanced humanitarian coordination on issues affecting Iraqi communities and refugees, as well as a framework for developing stronger humanitarian cooperation between Iraq and neighbouring countries.

The two Pillars are linked by conditions inside Iraq, which is moving from crisis into fragile transition following years of violence. The security and political context is at its most encouraging yet, but remains tenuous. Rates of violence have dropped by 75% since mid-2007. As security improves, some IDPs are returning to their homes. The obtaining fragile stability is allowing for the replacement of a trend of internal displacement with a small movement in IDP returns, and the beginnings of refugee returns.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.