Iraq + 1 more

UNHCR - Iraq Fact Sheet (March 2021)

News and Press Release
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+25,000 Refugee and IDP women and girls have received sanitary kits as of March 2021

+12,000 Refugee and IDPs received legal assistance as of March 2021

+17,000 Refugess have benefitted from COVID-19 awareness raising as of March 2021

+118,000 Refugees and IDP families received winterizaition assistance as of March 2021

Working with Partners

  • Through the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP), UNHCR leads the humanitarian response for Syrian refugees in Iraq, in close coordination with humanitarian actors and government authorities, to protect and assist refugees and asylum-seekers. Under the 3RP, UNHCR leads the Protection, Shelter, and Basic Needs sectors, and co-leads Health with WHO and WASH with UNICEF.

  • UNHCR is engaged in the inter-agency response to internal displacement and returns. UNHCR is leading the Protection, Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM), and Shelter/Non-Food Items (also known as core relief items or CRIs) clusters, as part of the cluster coordination mechanism for the IDP response. UNHCR also co-leads with UNFPA and WFP the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF 2020-2024) Priority Working Group “Achieving Social Cohesion, Protection, and Inclusion. UNHCR is also part of the inter-agency Durable Solutions Task Force and its technical subgroups.

Main Activities


  • Refugees – UNHCR coordinates the response for all refugees in Iraq with the government, UN agencies, and local and international partners, including activities related to: registration; protection monitoring and advocacy; legal aid; psychosocial support; child protection; prevention, risk mitigation and response to gender-based violence (GBV) and sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA); and resettlement to third countries which is pursued for a small number of refugees with acute vulnerabilities/protection needs.

  • IDPs – Direct interventions are undertaken with local, regional, and national authorities to ensure that the displaced can access safety in camps and non-camp locations. Protection monitoring teams have been deployed to identify protection and assistance needs, including in areas of return, which directly inform protection responses like: provision of legal assistance on a range of issues such as missing civil documentation; prevention, risk mitigation, and response to GBV and SEA; child protection; the reunification of separated families; and the coordination of IDP protection responses with the government, NGOs and other UN agencies.

  • Durable Solutions – Through area-based approach to develop pilot projects and strengthen local government coordination mechanisms to ensure the sustainability of local integration and settlement outside of areas of origin in addition to returns for those who are willing to return to their areas of origin. Camp Coordination and Camp Management

  • As the CCCM Cluster and 3RP lead, UNHCR works with local authorities and humanitarian actors to provide coordinated services to IDP and refugee camps. This translates to ensuring adequate shelter, delivery of food and water, presence of education and health facilities, as well as capacity building for camp management actors and service providers. In mid-October 2020, the GoI embarked on sudden IDP camp closure exercise, which resulted in the closure or reclassification of 16 IDP camps and informal sites, and affected over 42,400 individuals who left these sites. As of March 2021, over 185,800 IDPs are hosted in 29 camps mainly in KRI, with only two camps remaining in federal Iraq.

  • 100,000 Syrian refugees reside in ten camps throughout the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR-I). Currently, 99 per cent of Syrian refugees live in KR-I, with 41 per cent residing in camps and the remainder in urban, periurban, and rural areas.