Minutes of NGO coordination meeting on Iraq 22 Apr 2003

Report
from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 22 Apr 2003
Chaired by Maura Lynch, SHAO, OCHA
1. Update on Cross-border Issues

Iraqi Visa: Last week, some NGOs had difficulties with the Jordanian authorities at the Jordanian border for not having an Iraqi visa. The Jordanian Government requires all NGO staff intending to travel to Iraq to obtain a visa from the Iraqi Embassy, which is still functioning, and is promptly issuing three-month multiple entry visas, usually within a day (according to some NGOs, this can be expedited to a few hours). NGOs need to complete a form, have two photos and pay a fee of 52 JD.

Security Assessment: UNSECOORD Jordan is conducting a security assessment in Arquba, which is 100 km away from the Jordanian border.

Aid Flights -- Lack of Access: There are still no UN flights to North Iraq or Baghdad. The UN has been seeking permission to fly to North Iraq since 9 April. SCF-UK denied media reports about sending a plane to Iraq. A SCF-UK plane carrying medical supplies was refused permission to land in North Iraq by coalition forces (the press release was made available at the meeting). So it was never sent. IRC was also unsuccessful during the last three weeks to get permission to land in North Iraq. So far, only ICRC has managed to land a plane in Baghdad.

2. Update on the Situation in Iraq

IOM: Within its post-conflict reconstruction programme (small and medium-size enterprise development), IOM initiated a school rehabilitation project in South Iraq (area between Umm Qasr and Basra). Contracts have been already signed, and IOM is now working on implementation modalities focusing on participation of local communities.

MAG: The NGO continues mine clearance surveys in the areas under Kurdish control. Detailed information on the findings will be shared with the humanitarian community shortly, and will be posted to the HIC website (http://www.agoodplacetostart.org).

DART: Teams are based in Erbil and Nassiriya. Assessment reports are available on the HIC website, as well as on the USAID website.

IMC: The NGO's medical assessment for North Iraq is available on the HIC website.

ICS: A rapid assessment mission is in Baghdad. The initial findings include: a lack of medicines and medical supplies, and poor water and sanitation situation in the hospitals visited by the ICS team.

Hungarian Interchurch Aid: In addition to medicines, the lack of baby formula in Baghdad was mentioned. SCF-UK noted that the Nutrition Sector Coordinator is developing guidelines, according to which, baby formula will be distributed primarily through hospitals.

NGOs Coordination Committee in Iraq (NCCI): NGOs present in Baghdad formed a committee for the coordination of their activities in Iraq. Member organisations include: PU, ISRA, Un Ponte Per, LIFE for Relief and Development, and Intersos. New arriving humanitarian organisations are encouraged to contact the committee (PU e-mail: puamman@nets.com.jo, sat. tel: 00 88 2166 322 5455 ).

3. AOB / Announcements

Medical Evacuation: Medical evacuation of children, if not done properly, will cause family separation. The Child Protection Working Group Coordinator for Iraq advised NGOs to consult the guidelines available on the HIC or the Coordinator (Andrew Mawson, email: amawson@unicef.org), or the Working Group (IRC, SCF, WV, EDM) before taking action. Whenever possible, aid should be largely provided rather than bringing a patient outside for such aid.

Monitoring IHL in Iraq: In response to the need for timely and targeted information on International Humanitarian Law (IHL) during the armed conflict in Iraq, a IHL resource is launched by the Geneva-based Integrated Research and Information System project (IRIS), in cooperation with the Harvard Programme on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research (HPCR). A new information resource, Monitoring IHL in Iraq, is located at http://www.ihlresearch.org/iraq. The HPCR will hold a briefing on humanitarian action under occupation on Wednesday 23 April, from 1400 -- 1600, at UNDP conference room (Contact person is Naz Modirzadeh, e-mail: nmodirza@hsph.harvard.edu).

Incorporating Child Protection in Humanitarian Response: The Child Protection Working Group for Iraq developed guidelines to incorporate child protection in humanitarian response (flyers were made available at the meeting). A workshop will be held on Wednesday 23 April, at 1400, at the JNEPI office to present the basic concept of incorporating child protection issues in the design and implementation of any humanitarian response.

HIC: The Liaison Officer of HIC Larnaca encouraged NGOs to provide the HIC with their reports, assessments, and guidelines to be posted on the HIC website. This information sharing will promote the clear understanding of the humanitarian situation in Iraq. (Contact person is Janet O'Callaghan, e-mail: janocal_hic@hotmail.com). Meetings schedules are posted on the HIC website and can be updated by users.

Merlin: The NGO suggested that briefings are provided on the issues at the coordination level and regarding UN developments, which may impact on NGOs' strategy.

Mine Action: UNICEF Mine Action Officer informed that a mine action plan was developed together with key mine action NGOs. A mass mine awareness campaign is to be initiated in South and Central Iraq, primarily through schools. Apart from the existing networks (schools and WFP food distribution points), the UNICEF Mine Action Office is seeking other networks that NGOs may suggest (Contact person is Ben Lark, e-mail: blark@unicef.org). UNMAS will visit Amman shortly and will hold briefings on the issue.

IMC: The NGO intends to conduct further assessments in North Iraq and requested security-related information. MAG will be able to provide mine-related information. Contacts with people on the ground were suggested.

HelpAge Intl: Information sheets on Guidelines for Best Practice: Older people in disasters and humanitarian crisis, and Older People: What are their needs and their rights, were made available at the meeting.

List of Participants

Shok Dylon, IMC
Lucie Oliveira, AMI Foundation-Portugal
Aneeza Pasha, MAG
Vicente Raimundo ECHO
Ernesto Bafile, ICS
Anna Mazzolini, Un Ponte Per
Zargo Bakri, AFSC
Rick M. Dowell, AFSC
Francois Djisson WFP
Vicki Robb, LIFE for Relief and Development
Julie Chappell, UK Embassy
Darshana Vyas, Counterpart International
Karl A. Ammann Caritas internationalis
David Holdridgiz IOCC
Marinka Baumann Qandil
Susan McGregor Airserv International
Rula Al-Hassan, FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance
Behrooz Ross-Sheriff FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance
Nagi Khalil, ADRA
Tawfiq Madanat, ADRA
Monica Luxa, CESVI
Mufleh Taloudi, CESVI
Rodrigo Doxandabarat EMDH
Natalie Djurickovic IRD
Waleed Al Mudanat Good People
Florence Arnaud ACTED
Bernard Mills, HelpAge International
Bela Kapur, OHCHR
David Lillie, USAID / DART
Paul Currion, HIC
Roland Prevot, Handicap International
Claire McEvoy, IRIN-OCHA
Noriyuki Shiina, JEN
Gogni Ohuven, SCF-UK
Keiko Kiyama, JEN
Reem Aslan, CIDA
Hanadi Ammar, SDC
Latragre Stephie ISF
Francois Blanug ICRC
Jane Connoly, OXFAM
Osamma Haddadin Habitat
Nabil Al-Tikrixi, MSF-H
Thais Mendez De Andes MPDL
Barbara Shenstone CARE
Mareck Stys, PINF
Zaki Khoury, IRC
Sally Zued, IMC
Jette Toft, DRC
Camilla Bentren, NRC
Omar Houssein, MAG
Mario Bofondi, COOPI
Kenneth Laura, FHI
Christina Svane, DCA / MECC
Wafa Goussous, MECC
Steve Weaver, MCC
Fouad Hikmat, MERLIN
Dijana Dubocaliac IRC
Anees Anees, APN
Lynnette Larsen, USAID / DART
Galawezh Bayiz, Counterpart International
Zewdie Mehary, WFP
Andrew Mawson OHCI / UNICEF
Hibby Kennaid, SCF-UK
Rajen Parekh, IOM
Rudolf Hinz, LWF / ACT
Joe Bock, ARC
Yowg Joon Park Global Care
Roseli A. Gani, Mercy Malaysia
Klaas Huis, MedAir
Mohammed Foury Relief International
Zohre Elahian, Relief International
John Ivaska, Global Alliance / WR
Debs Harris, World Vision International
Rachel Dungar, JNEPI

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