Iraq IDP Crisis Situation Report No. 4 (19-26 July 2014)
Attacks on civilian infrastructure, including hospitals and water networks, continue.
Hundreds of families fled Mosul after receiving ultimatums.
Access to populations living in active conflict zones and hard to reach areas remains a grave concern.
Thousands of IDPs remain on the move, particularly towards Kirkuk, northern Diyala, the Kurdistan Region and southern Iraq.
Critical shortages in medical supplies and medicines are reported in Mosul, areas of Salah al-Din and Anbar.
Cargo flights to the Kurdistan Region resume.
1.5million Affected people
1.2million Internally displaced (estimated)
1million Targeted for assistance
Active areas of conflict continue to affect hundreds of thousands of Iraqis throughout the country, particularly in the area stretching from Baghdad to the Kurdistan Region, as well as Anbar. Humanitarian actors are increasingly concerned about the local communities and IDPs that remain in these areas, as well as areas where basic goods and services are increasingly inaccessible or targeted. A rough estimate indicates that up to 5 million people may be residing in these areas. Of particular concern are the Amerli and Al-Dululiyah areas in Salah al-Din governorate, as well as western areas in Anbar governorate. Reports indicate that civilians may be trapped in these areas, unable to move away from conflict or to access humanitarian assistance and basic goods, such as food and water. Humanitarian actors are working to identify options for how to access these hard to reach areas.
New displacement and secondary displacement continue to occur on a daily basis. Some 400 families fled Mosul on Saturday 19 July after receiving an edict from armed groups that they should convert, pay a tax, leave or be killed. A number of families reported that they were stripped of all valuables as they left Mosul, including identification documents and vehicles, and were forced to walk out of the city. The families went to nearby villages in the Ninewa Plains and are being assisted by local communities, NGOs and the UN. In Kirkuk, the Ministry of Displacement and Migration (MoDM) reports that up to 23,000 displaced families may now be displaced within Kirkuk city, marking an increase of 16,000 families in two weeks. Further verification of these figures is ongoing.
New displacement continues to be reported in Khanaqin, in northern Diyala, where some 6,000 families are currently residing in three settlement areas and within the local community. Chamchamal, in western Sulaymaniyah, also remains an area of high concern, due to the possibility of tensions between IDPs and the local community. The Garmawa IDP camp in the Shekhan district of Ninewa governorate has doubled in population in the last weeks, with the total population now at 349 families (estimated 2,094 individuals). Meanwhile, the Barharka IDP transit site located north of Erbil city is nearly empty, as at the time of reporting, with families having moved on to Baghdad and areas in southern Iraq. The number of IDPs in Sinjar has also decreased significantly in recent weeks, from up to 10,000 families to now 2,500 families.
Authorities in Baghdad have requested assistance from the UN to build an IDP camp in the city environs in order to host IDPs arriving from northern Iraq. Displacement to other areas in southern Iraq continues to grow. Humanitarian actors planned for aid distributions to 3,000 families in Najaf and found the number had increased to 6,000 families by the time of the distribution. Rapid assessments are being planned for Najaf, Kerbala and Wassit, in order to identify the needs of a growing IDP population.
Discussions on emergency shelter options, including camps, were held with various local authorities during the week, particularly with the Dahuk, Sulaymaniyah, Kirkuk and Baghdad authorities. During the Humanitarian Coordinator’s visit to Sulaymaniyah, she emphasized that camps remain a last resort and that support to families living within the host community must be provided in equal measure as to camps. She elaborated that for international humanitarian assistance to be provided, camps should be located near to towns or cities in order to facilitate access to market and services; that residence within camps must be voluntary; and that IDPs residing in camps must be allowed to move freely.
The ban on cargo flights to Erbil and Sulaymaniyah imposed by the Government of Iraq was lifted on 21 July. New procedures have been put into place and communicated to humanitarian partners by the Logistics Cluster. A joint UN cargo flight successfully arrived in Erbil on 24 July.
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.