In April, Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) partners distributed 2,475 emergency kits to reach 9,471 individuals including 5,505 children, ensuring provision of life-saving supplies to highly at-risk families on the move. The majority of people (71 per cent) were reached in Qayyarah camps, Ninewa, during the month.
In April, an estimated 100,000 returnees gained improved access o supply of safe water as rehabilitation of two water treatment plants was completed in Kirkuk (Hawiga and Al Riyadh), In Mosul City, Ninewa, an estimated 50,220 people (23,604 children) had continued access to safe water through trucking in 14 neighbourhoods.
In Anbar and Ninewa internally displaced people (IDP) camps UNICEF is converting tented spaces to pre-fab classrooms to improve the learning environment for 1,670 children (965 girls). In addition, a new tented school was established at Salamiyah-2 IDP camp, Ninewa, for 1,292 children (553 girls).
In April, UNICEF partners provided psychosocial support services (PSS) to 20,598 newly-registered IDP children (10,027 girls). Since January 2018, 77,304 IDP children (36,678 girls) have accessed PSS services.
Since January 2018, UNICEF and partners have reached 3,939 children under 1 year (2,009 girls) with measles vaccination (981 children in April), and 7,174 pregnant women and new mothers (1,684 reached in April) attended health promotion sessions on Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF), and 54,187 children aged 6-59 months (27,635 girls; 14,288 in April) were screened for nutritional status. Children identified with malnourishment were checked with anthropometric measures in the growth monitoring units in camps.
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
Nearly 3.7 million people (over 1.8 million children) have now returned to their homes, while more than 2.1 million people (over 1 million children) remain displaced. Of these, 616,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) remain in camps and nearly 234,000 are in critical shelter arrangements (i.e., informal settlements or unfinished buildings). Between January and April 2018, the number of IDPs has decreased by around 509,814 individuals, while the returnee population has increased by around 490,426 individuals. Ninewa hosts around 30 per cent of the remaining IDP population. In Anbar, Diyala, Ninewa, and Salah al-Din protection concerns remain high and the returning population, especially children, face challenges including voluntary returns, dangers posed by explosive remnants of war, rights violations by military or security actors, and safety risks caused by intercommunal tensions. In Hawiga, Kirkuk, responses to an ongoing UNICEF and government education needs assessment have indicated that priority needs are school supplies, rehabilitation/expansion of learning facilities, and psychosocial support for children and teachers. Between January and April, 6,736 newly-arrived IDP families (approximately 40,400 individuals, including around 19,000 children) were recorded entering IDP camps in Ninewa. Around 53 per cent of these new arrivals were reported to be secondary displacement movements. The main reason of displacement and return to camps continue to be economic hardship compounded by limited or no access to services or adequate shelter due to destroyed / damaged houses in areas of origin.
Electoral campaigning for the first national Iraqi parliamentary elections since the end of military operations against Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) began on 14 April. The election is due to take place on 12 May. For the campaign period, political parties (including candidates and coalitions) have signed an ‘Electoral Charter of Honour’ drafted by Iraq’s Electoral Commission to guide the campaign process. It includes a pledge to forbid sectarian or ethnic speech, violence, and voter intimidation, and to ensure a peaceful transfer of power. The camp consolidation and closure process has been halted in the lead up to the elections, and IDPs have been allowed to register their votes in camps. There are concerns around election-related violence in the coming month, and about safety of voters at polling stations.