This document, produced by the Iraq Inter-Cluster Coordination Group (ICCG), summarizes gaps in the humanitarian response in 2020 and associated challenges in implementing humanitarian activities in line with the 2020 HRP. The summary is based on inputs by eight clusters and two sub-clusters.
In the 2020 humanitarian response plan, humanitarian partners set out to cover the critical needs of 1.8 million people living in 63 districts out of Iraq’s total 101 districts. Despite the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, humanitarian partners reached 1.4 million people (81 per cent of the target) in 2020, with 92 per cent of funding requirements having been met. However, the response gaps were found to be more pronounced for some population groups and in some locations of the country. While partners managed to reach all IDPs living in camps, the response gap was particularly high among out-of-camp IDPs in acute need (291,000 people out of 429,000 people targeted were reached, or 68 per cent) and returnees in acute need (878,000 people out of the 1.2 million people targeted were reached, or 74 per cent).2
In a context where COVID-19 increased vulnerabilities, especially among IDPs out-of-camp and returnees, and where sudden camp closures continue to lead to an increase in the number of IDPs out-of-camp and returnees, understanding collectively where the gaps were in 2020, who was affected by these gaps and why they occurred in the first place is paramount to inform the response in 2021. In this analysis, a response gap is considered significant when less than 75 per cent of the target was reached or more than 1,000 people were not reached.
What were the gaps?
All clusters experienced some gaps in their response, ranging between as few as 10 people to as many as 77,000 people not assisted as per the original plans. The overall gap of 0.4 million people includes primarily people targeted with health, food, protection, shelter and NFI, and water, sanitation and hygiene support in 2020. At a district level, the highest response gaps were most frequently reported by the Health, Food Security, Protection (including HLP, Mine Action, GBV and Child Protection), Shelter/NFI and WASH Clusters. This is hardly surprising considering that these clusters had the highest targets in 2020. Additionally, the Health, Protection and Shelter/NFI Clusters noted that some response gaps may have been impacted by challenges in reporting and adjusting modality of response: health services are not provided on the basis of displacement status (and under-reach or over-reach is therefore likely) and displacement status is self- reported by the individual receiving assistance, while protection interventions could not be done at community level, with many of the community-based activities stopped due to the pandemic; finally shelter interventions generally take longer to complete with many of the projects ongoing in early 2021 not yet being reported. Of a total of 59 monitored activities,3 clusters achieved less than 50 per cent of the target for about 30 activities (see Table 1).
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.