• Approximately 1.45 million people are estimated to be displaced throughout the country.
• Large populations remain trapped due to conflict, without access to basic services.
• Increasing reports of human trafficking within and outside the country are of grave concern.
• Six countries donated relief items through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.
As a result of the displacement triggered primarily by the advancement of armed groups in both northwest and east of Mosul city in and around the districts of Jalawla (Diyala) and Sinjar (Ninewa), since 3 August, the United Nations has increased its planning number of people displaced in Iraq to 1.45 million. This is an increase of 250,000 from the previous planning figure of 1.2 million. The IDP number does not include people displaced in Iraq before 2014, nor does it include the 225,000 Syrian refugees in northern Iraq.
Population movement to Erbil and Dahuk Governorates (Kurdistan Region) has been stabilizing. It was reported that at the Pesh Khabour border (Dahuk) crossing over 2,000 individuals arrived from Syria, mostly Yazidis who were in Nawroz camp (Syria) coming to join families who already reached Kurdistan. Some IDPs continued to return from Kurdistan (mainly adult males) to Sinjar District (Ninewa) using the safe route via Syria to reach Sinjar mountain to search for their relatives. Local authorities in Dahuk report that there are now over 400,000 IDPs the Governorate. Displacement from Ninewa and Anbar continues to central and southern Governorates (Kerbala, Najaf, Al Qaddisiya, Baghdad, Basra), where local authorities are overstretched and unable to respond to increasing demands in basic services.
For the first time in an emergency response, an inter-agency team comprised of UN agencies, NGOs and a media development organisation has been to Erbil, Duhuk and Sulaymaniyah Governorates to understand the information needs and access to communication channels among internally displaced people. Preliminary findings are concerning. Displaced populations only have access to conflicting and broken information regarding the provision of basic services, creating confusion, isolation and mistrust. To date, IDPs are mostly relying on mobile phones to keep connected to family members left behind and to follow security developments in their areas of origin. Populations affected by crises need more than physical necessities. Information and communication are also forms of aid, as important as water, food and shelter. Humanitarian partners are mobilizing resources to start working with preferred communication channels, such as face to face communication, mobile phones, print materials and local media.
The future of many Iraqis, especially the most vulnerable, is of grave concern. There are increasing reports of abduction of women, particularly those belonging to minority groups, by armed groups and of human trafficking within and outside the country. Trauma, child labour, lack of education, sexual violence and direct or indirect effects of violence are grave threats to the future of children and youths and, by extension, to the future of Iraq. Social-protection systems have all but collapsed, further weakening household resilience. People on the move and other highly vulnerable communities must also prepare for the approaching harsh winter.
The Swedish Minster of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Carl Bildt, and the European Union International Development Commissioner, Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, met with the Humanitarian Country Team on 19 August to discuss progress made in responding to the urgent needs of displaced populations. The newly appointed Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr. Kevin Kennedy, arrived in Erbil on 20 August.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.