Iraq

OCHA Flash Update: Humanitarian impact of military operations in Salah al-Din, 30 June 2016 [EN/AR]

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Situation overview:

Since 16 June, at least 8,400 individuals (1,400 families) have been displaced from Shirqat District in Salah al-Din Governorate, according to IOM on 29 June, as military operations have intensified along the Mosul corridor. The situation remains fluid and thousands of people may still be on the move in the area. Families are displaced from areas outside Shirqat city and are being transported by authorities to Al-Hajjaj town, located between Bayji and Tikrit. Families are accommodated in a small displacement site established by the Government of Iraq, in schools and public buildings. On 30 June, the Ministry of Displacement and Migration (MoDM) informed that 328 families (1,968 individuals) have newly arrived to the Al-Hajjaj displacement site and are in need of water, food and nonfood items.

Thousands of people have transited through the area since 16 June, with the majority moving on to Tikrit to shelter with extended family once they are security screened and cleared by authorities. Screenings are moving quickly, according to local partners and the Ministry of Displacement and Migration (MoDM). An estimated 80 per cent of the displaced people screened within few days of displacement, according to MoDM. The fluidity of movements makes confirming the number of displaced people difficult.

Humanitarian impact/needs:

Access to safety remains a concern. Displaced people must travel long distances to reach the Al-Hajjaj site and other areas of relative safety within Salah al-Din. There are confirmed reports of displaced families who, lacking transportation and facing other access barriers, have been stranded in desert areas where they face acute shortages of shelter, water and food. The families included large numbers of women, children and elderly and were exposed to risks from the extreme heat.

Shelter capacity at Al-Hajjaj camp is a concern, as it initially consists of only 180 tents, provided by MoDM. According to partners, it is not uncommon for four or five families to share one tent when waves of displaced families arrive to the area. There is reportedly also a need for drinking water and food, as well as dignity and hygiene kit items and there is no electricity. People have reportedly walked for many kilometres; women and children, among the others, are said to have suffered severe psychological stress.

There is an acute shortage of medications reported and more Core Relief Items (CRIs)/Non-Food Items (NFIs) are needed for displaced people sheltering in a shaded abandoned public building in Al-Hajjaj.

Humanitarian response:

Protection partners are monitoring movements from Shirqat, mainly to the Al-Hajjaj site, and are in regular contact with local authorities. Partners are working with MoDM and local authorities to facilitate the sponsorship processes for newly displaced people (which entails MoDM registration).

Arrangements have been finalized to deliver 1,000 dignity kits on 1 July. In addition, 10 tents and two caravans will be delivered to Tikrit on 1 July for the establishment of five women’s safe spaces and one women’s community center.

From 26 to 27 June, emergency response partners distributed 391 family packages of ready-to-eat food, safe drinking water and hygiene kits to 285 families, benefiting 1,639 people.

Shelter-NFI Cluster partners have dispatched 500 tents to the Al-Hajjaj displacement site and MoDM is setting up a further 100 tents. Partners dispatched 500 kits of CRIs, 187 NFI kits and 500 tents to Al-Hajjaj on 29 to 30 June. An additional 1,000 NFI kits are en route to the area to be distributed in the next days.

Health partners are providing eight mobile medical teams (MMTs) to the Salah al-Din DoH from 1 July onwards. These teams will be deployed to Tikrit (two teams), Balad (two teams), Samarra (two teams), Daur (one team) and Baiji (one team) districts. Immunization teams have set up in the Al-Hajjaj area to ensure children displacing from previously inaccessible areas receive vaccinations. From 26 to 29 June, 1,900 children received polio vaccinations and 1,230 children received measles vaccinations.

A WASH partner distributed 1,150 sets of cold bottled water, 325 hygiene kits, six large plastic garbage bins (240 litres), 200 toilet jars, 200 jerry cans (20 litres) and 250 jerry cans (10 litres), 450 disinfectants, and 125 plastic buckets. Additionally, two water tanks (2,000 litres) were installed and are being filled with safe drinking water via water trucking service, according to need.

WASH CRIs are being prepositioned to cover a new influx of 5,000 individuals. Partners are preparing to provide immediate response actions, including emergency water trucking, as required. The WASH Cluster is checking with partners on the ground for additional response capacity, including longer term water trucking and provision of sanitation facilities and services, which is currently a gap.

Challenges

A key concern across all clusters is the limited presence of humanitarian partners in Salah al-Din Governorate. A mapping of partners is being completed by the Inter-Cluster Coordination Group, however, initial results indicate that there is less capacity in Salah al-Din Governorate than in Anbar Governorate, another underserved area. Clusters are working to identify new partners or ask existing partners to expand operations.

The humanitarian operation in Shirqat is challenged by the lack of funding for the Iraq Humanitarian Response Plan and by the rapid drawdown of humanitarian stocks in country. Only 36 per cent – or US$313 million – of the $861 million requested in the HRP has been received. Simultaneously, the growing number of emergency relief operations required across the country is rapidly drawing down stocks and stretching capacities

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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