UNHCR Iraq: 2021 Participatory Assessment of Refugees and Asylum-Seekers (June – August 2021)

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Background & Methodology

While Iraq continues to steadily recover from years of conflict, thousands of vulnerable families across the country remain displaced and in acute need of protection and assistance. As of 31 August 2021, 248,721 Syrian refugees (61% urban, 39% camp) and 37,798 refugees of other nationalities resided across Iraq, with over 98% of Syrian refugees located in the Kurdistan Region (KRI).

In line with UNHCR’s Age, Gender, and Diversity Policy (2018) and Tool for Participatory Assessment in Operations (2006), UNHCR undertook a Participatory Assessment (PA) across six offices/ten governorates (Erbil, Dohuk,
Sulaymaniyah, Kirkuk, Ninewa, Baghdad, Basra, Anbar, Diyala, Kerbala, Salahaldeen) in July and August 2021 to ensure meaningful participation through structured dialogue. This PA represents the first in Iraq since 2017 and following COVID-19 disruptions. From 2017-2021, gaps in a countrywide PA were filled at field level by desk review and participatory inquiry (focus group discussions (FGDs), key informant interviews, household visits, and discussions with outreach volunteers and committees). In 2020, remote protection monitoring of 4,650 households was led countrywide from August to December.

The 2021 PA centers on five thematic areas: Registration & Documentation, Child Protection (including education) & Gender-based Violence, Livelihoods, Self-Reliance, and Mental Health. Participants were asked to identify key protection risks and causes, capacities within the community, and possible solutions. 219 FGDs were held with Syrian refugees and refugees of other nationalities.