• Following heavy fighting in Sinjar (Ninewa), nearly 200,000 people have been forced from their homes and are in urgent need of life-saving assistance.
• Thousands of families are still reported to be trapped on Sinjar Mountain without access to food or water, until limited airdrops on 8 August.
• Significant secondary displacement is taking place throughout northern Iraq, including Kurdistan, due to further insecurity.
• In addition to the current IDP crisis, the government of Kurdistan is also hosting 230,000 Syrian refugees.
1.5 million Affected people
1.2 million Internally displaced (estimated)
1 million Targeted for assistance
The humanitarian context in northern Iraq has significantly deteriorated over the past week as armed clashes continue to drive displacement. As a result of fighting between ISIS and Peshmerga forces in Sinjar on 3 August, tens of thousands of people, almost all of them from the Yazidi minority, have been forced from their homes and are in urgent need of life-saving assistance.
While the situation remains fluid and numbers cannot be independently verified, thousands of families, many of them women, children and the elderly, are now trapped on Jebel Sinjar (Sinjar Mountain) in above 40C degree temperatures. At the same time, from 4 to 8 August nearly 200,000 people have made their way to Iraq’s Kurdistan region (Dahuk Governorate) or to disputed border areas inside Ninewa. Thousands more have reportedly fled across the border into Syria and from there crossed back into Iraq’s Kurdistan region.
The considerable deterioration of security conditions is having an impact on the access to affected populations.
Although humanitarian access in Sinjar (Ninewa) is not possible, successful air drops by the government of Iraq and United States military of food and water supplies were reported on 8 August. The international community in collaboration with the Government responded to the immediate needs of over 150,000 IDPs who reached Dahuk Governorate. Many of the displaced were in need of essential, life-saving humanitarian items, including water, food, shelter, and medicine.
On 7 August, secondary displacement took place throughout Ninewa and Dahuk following reports of fighting near IDP locations. Khazir transit centre (Dahuk) and Garmawa camp (Ninewa) were reported to be empty as of 8 August. Humanitarian agencies continue to update data on displacement numbers but these are time sensitive and subject to change.
Families also fled Qaraqosh, a predominantly Christian city, on 7 August and were assisted by host families, local authorities and the international community in various places in Erbil Governorate. In Kirkuk, violent attacks have caused new waves of displacement, estimated by local authorities to reach 40,000 people.
International assistance is necessary to support the Government of Iraq and the regional Government of Kurdistan who cannot respond to the crisis on their own. Prior to this latest influx, there were 230,000 Syrian refugees in the region and some 380,000 IDPs.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.