• The estimate of people in need of humanitarian assistance in Iraq is revised upwards from 8.2 million to 10 million people (OCHA, Humanitarian Needs Overview). Nearly half of these are children under 18 years old.
• In January 2016, over 3.3 million people are displaced across Iraq, up from 3.2 million in December 2015. Approximately 1.5 million IDP children remain in need of protection and assistance. It is estimated that 1.4 million children live in areas outside government control.1
• In line with the new Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for 2016,
UNICEF in Iraq appeals for USD$101 million to support up to 2 million affected girls, boys, women and men through provision of water, sanitation, hygiene, education, psychosocial support, and health services.
• In January, UNICEF supported psychosocial services to 751 newlyregistered IDP children; reached more than 24,400 people with safe drinking water and improved access to latrines, including disabled access facilities, for over 3,000 people; improved existing school facilities for over 5,000 children in Dahuk by replacing tented learning spaces with prefab containers in 3 schools; and monitored 561 IDP children and 90 host community children for growth.
• Over 135,000 vulnerable IDP girls, boys and pregnant women received warm winter clothes and shoes (for children aged 0-14 years) and blankets; in Erbil and Sulaymaniyah, 3,748 children aged 6 to 14 received raincoats through school distributions.
• In January, the RRM Consortium coordinated by UNICEF and WFP distributed 40,754 RRM kits, benefiting 285,278 individuals at 81 locations across 8 governorates.
Situation Overview and Humanitarian Need
At the start of 2016, an estimated 10 million people across Iraq remain in need of humanitarian assistance, including internally displaced people (IDPs), Syrian refugees, returnees and host communities, as well as affected populations in Armed Opposition Group (AOG) held areas. Depending on the intensity of fighting and the scale of the violence, the number of people in need is projected to rise to anywhere between 11 and 13 million in 2016. As of end January 2016, 3,310,422 individuals (551,737 families) were displaced across Iraq3 , increased from 3.2 million at the end of 2015. Shifting conflict dynamics have enabled over 502,000 internally displaced individuals (approx. 83,700 families) to return to their places of origin (‘returnees’)4 . Ongoing active conflict presents an environment of insecurity for many; certain contested areas remain under siege by armed actors and there is concern about humanitarian access to these locations. Return areas are in many cases the sites of recent conflict, and are often severely lacking in basic infrastructure and services. The risks facing children in Iraq include sexual violence, interrupted schooling, and stress linked to disintegrated families, multiple displacements and breakdown of community structures. Approximately 1.5 million IDP children are in need of protection and assistance. It is estimated that 1.4 million children live in areas outside government control. In the 2015-16 academic year, the Federal Ministry of Education reports that 5,351 school buildings were not available for teaching or learning activities due to the on-going conflict5 . In addition, according to the IOM/DTM, there are currently 37,350 IDPs sheltering in schools in over 250 sites across Iraq, with the highest proportion in Anbar, Salah Al-Din and Ninewa governorates.6 With millions displaced across the country in thousands of locations, reaching all who need assistance stretches both the government and the humanitarian community’s resources. Humanitarian access is restricted by continued violence. The ongoing economic crisis has affected the government’s ability to pay salaries for many civil servants, including teachers. The effects of the overlapping Syrian refugee and internal displacement crises remain highly visible across the country, with increased populations in areas in the north and centre of Iraq placing strain on local economies, services and infrastructure, leaving many communities more vulnerable to social and economic shocks.