The Humanitarian Needs Overview indicates that 5.2 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance.
Access for assistance to affected people is a major concern.
National winterization efforts need to be urgently steppedup.
The introduction of a cash and voucher program in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq in October is expected to alleviate the pressure on the food pipeline.
A rapid assessment was conducted for IDPs returning to the Al-Qosh district in Ninewa Governorate, covering over 2,000 families.
The Iraq Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) was published on 25 September. The document highlights that although 1.5 million people are currently reached by humanitarian actors; this is against a total population in urgent need of assistance of 5.2 million. The Kurdish Region of Iraq is hosting 850,000 of the 1.8 million people who have been displaced through-out Iraq since January 2014. The second largest numerical concentration of IDPs is in Anbar Governorate. The overview recognizes, however, there are millions of people in need living in areas beyond the Government of Iraq’s ambit which is severely constraining humanitarian access.
The HNO ranks vulnerability by governorate according to cluster assessments of food security, protection, health and shelter, among other social indicators. The most vulnerable of Iraq’s 18 governorates are Anbar and Dahuk, followed by, on equal footing, Diyala, Erbil, Kirkuk, Ninewa and Salah al-Din. Eight governorates are ranked one level below in the vulnerability stakes. The least affected governorates by the crisis are seen as Missan, Muthanna and Thi-Qar.
The nature of the conflict continues to be fluid, with frontlines constantly ebbing and flowing. Additional displacement is being recorded in some areas, including – as an example - El Alam, close to Tikrit (Salah al-Din Governorate), where the number of IDP families fleeing the conflict has reportedly increased from 7,000 families in early September to 13,500 at the time of reporting. In Khanaqin (Diyala Governorate) IDPs continue to trickle in, with an average of 10 families arriving daily to the New Ali Awa camp since mid-August. The movement of IDPs towards the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, especially from areas in and around Mosul, also continues to be recorded. However, entry into Kurdistan Region of Iraq for some groups is becoming increasingly difficult, as movement restrictions are placed on IDPs by bureaucratic and security procedures. Secondary and tertiary displacement is also being recorded in some locations. Authorities are requesting the displaced to vacate schools, where they had sought shelter, to allow for the start of the delayed academic 2014/2015 year. The relocation of IDPs from schools is occurring, and in some cases, without alternate accommodation being secured.
There are also indications of some timid returns by IDPs, either because the displaced believe security in their areas of origin have improved, or through mounting social tensions in host communities and limited access to assistance in places of displacement.
Bureaucratic hurdles are also affecting relief efforts. As an example, a 12-truck convoy laden with 200,000 doses of polio vaccine, as well as TB treatment drugs and other medical supplies, has been prevented by local authorities from travelling from Kirkuk to Mosul. In another incident, assistance for civilians in conflict-affected areas of Salah al-Din was delayed for a few weeks as authorities deliberated on granting permission to cross a frontline. On the other hand, some partners were forced to delay humanitarian activities in Anbar amid renewed security concerns for staff and operations. While all avenues concerning the opening-up of humanitarian space are being investigated, including fact-based advocacy to promote respect for International Humanitarian Law, negotiations for cross-line operations with all parties to the conflict are being stepped up.
The harsh winter season is imminent and, despite renewed efforts, humanitarian partners are extremely concerned preparations are lagging and that staffing, material and funding availability is insufficient to respond to the urgent needs. The federal and local authorities are expressing similar concerns and are calling for urgent action to prevent any further suffering of those affected, directly or indirectly, by the conflict. A technical IDP Immediate Response Plan identifying priority actions to be undertaken, as well as tackling funding shortfalls, ahead of the winter months for the three Kurdistan Region of Iraq governorates is being finalized. The plan underlines the need to look at all available avenues, including the unconventional, to mobilize additional capacities and funding for the response.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.