National Protection Cluster - Iraq: Humanitarian Needs Overview and Response Plan 2021, Guidance Note for Partners

Manual and Guideline
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1. Introduction

This Guidance Note presents the National Protection Cluster (NPC) strategy for the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) 2021, including population figures, objectives and response. Since 2019, the Iraq operation has been implementing activity-based costing (ABC) with no project submissions through the Online Project System (OPS or HPC Projects Module). In 2021, the enhanced activity-based costing approach has been adopted.

The NPC strongly recommends partners to adhere to its HRP strategy illustrated in this document. At the same time, given the strong evidence base of the 2021 Iraq Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) and the clear targets and priorities outlined in the HRP, donors are highly encouraged to ensure that they are/will be funding projects that align with the 2021 NPC HRP Strategy and live up to NPC standards.

The NPC remains at the disposal of partners for further assistance and support.

2. Analysis of Humanitarian Needs 2021

Over 2.3 million individuals will require protection services throughout 2021. 73 per cent of the people in need are concentrated in 12 districts across six governorates.

The COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with protracted displacement, have resulted in increased protection needs and vulnerabilities. Coerced departures from displacement in camp and non-camp locations, including premature returns, often resulting in secondary displacement;3 negative coping mechanisms; trauma and psychosocial distress; a high prevalence of gender-based violence; violence against children; widespread risk of explosive hazards;5 and limited access to documentation and secure land tenure drive protection needs. Tribal and social tensions contribute to rights violations, including marginalization of persons with perceived affiliation with extremists.

Living standards are severely affected by missing documentation as individuals cannot exercise their full basic rights. Lack of secure tenure is a main reason preventing IDPs from returning to their areas of origin, and returnees from reintegrating sustainably. Trauma, stress and anxiety continue to be serious protection concerns affecting communities, in particular women, children and persons with disabilities. Vulnerable groups, including persons with perceived affiliation to extremists, remain those most at-risk of rights violations. The physical and mental wellbeing of affected individuals has also been severely affected by COVID-19 restrictions that have impacted their freedom of movement, preventing access to basic services, including health care. Affected households have been forced to resort to negative coping mechanisms due to loss of livelihoods and employment; as result, they have been exposed to increased protection risks. Pre-existing gender and social inequalities that disadvantage women and girls have been exacerbated by the pandemic and an increase in different forms of GBV has been reported, especially domestic violence. Abuse, violence and neglect within households have been highlighted as key protection concerns also affecting children. The existence of unexploded ordnance and explosive remnants of war (ERW) continue to pose significant protection risks to the physical safety and well-being of affected groups.