Between August and end-September 2019, humanitarian partners reported significant closures of formal IDP camps, reducing from 89 to 77. The closures, ‘consolidation’ of people from closed camps to other camps, and related return of IDPs to places of origin took place from Anbar, Kirkuk, Ninewa and Salah al Din. Movements were characterized by lack of adequate communication with IDP communities in camps, as well as by lack of consultation by government authorities, especially in Ninewa, with other government and security actors and with humanitarian partners. Poor information-sharing presented coordination and service delivery challenges, alongside concerns about the involuntary nature of movements. Some reports were received of IDP families, particularly in Anbar, not receiving security clearance to enter camps or being refused return to their home towns, causing secondary displacement. The UN Humanitarian Coordinator called on authorities for effective coordination of IDP transfers and adherence to Iraq’s Principle Returns Framework. As of end-September, camp management partners had tracked an overall reduction of around 15 per cent in IDP camp populations. Despite the reduction, 322,143 individuals (165,326 children) remain in camps and over 1.55million people (728,000 children) remain displaced countrywide.
# of children in need of humanitarian assistance
# of people affected (UNOCHA, 2019 Iraq Humanitarian Needs Overview)
# of internally displaced people (IDPs)
IOM DTM January 2014 to August 2019
In 2019, 14,583 children received specialized child protection services, including reunification or alternative care
In 2019, 1,108,589 children under five years old were vaccinated against polio through campaigns
WASH: UNICEF has been working with partners to adjust WASH service provision to accommodate new arrivals to remaining IDP camps. In September, efforts focused on Ninewa camps, including Salamiyah-2 where over 21,000 individuals arrived after closure of Salamiya-1. UNICEF and its NGO partner are working to increase latrines and showers to reduce perperson ratios, which had risen to 35 people per unit. Overall in2019 UNICEF and partners contributed 46 per cent of Cluster water supply response and 48 per cent of Cluster sanitation response (access to latrines). UNICEF-supported WASH response has reached 731,000 individuals in camp and non-camp locations since January. Progress has been enabled by timely availability of resources, but continued investment is needed to maintain standards. In summer 2019,WASH facilities in 88 schools were rehabilitated in Anbar, Baghdad, and Salah al Din, improving access for 56,900 children (29,000 girls), with 139 schools’ facilities rehabilitated since January (across these governorates, plus Kirkuk and Ninewa).
Education: Education Cluster partners continued to work with local, regional and federal authorities on teacher deployment to IDP camps and teacher salaries; camp closure has made this challenging, and the situation is different in each affected governorate, as well as in KRI areas. In August and September, 2,237 teachers (1,344 females) participated in UNICEFsupported trainings in Erbil, Kirkuk, and Ninewa (55 per cent of Cluster response, and 62 per cent of UNICEF’s annual target). UNICEF distributions of learning supplies reached 95,157 children in the last two months, for 141,163 children (62,137 girls) reached since January (53 per cent of Cluster response, and 80 per cent of UNICEF’s annual target).
Child Protection: Rapid changes in camp status mean child protection (CP) partners have been working on case transfers between locations to ensure case management procedures are observed. Significant returns took place to Hatra and Ba’aj districts of Ninewa where there are no active CP partners; the Child Protection Sub-Cluster (CPSC) will open an expression of interest for partners to cover these areas. Since January, UNICEF and partners reached 104 per cent of the target for PSS (84 per cent of Sub-Cluster response) and 140 per cent for specialized protection assistance (63 per cent of Sub-Cluster response). Services for girls and women who have experienced Gender-Based Violence exceeded the target by 107 per cent. Although UNICEF funding status is good, overall funding for Child Protection and GBV partners is limited, with potential to negatively impact service delivery. Since mid-2019, UNICEF expanded to four additional camps to ensure continuation of protection services after exit of an NGO partner due to lack of funds. Since January, 57 incidents of grave violations of child rights were verified by the UN, affecting 103 children (30 girls).
Health and Nutrition: Services for children affected by camp closures and consolidations were addressed by redistribution of health and nutrition-related equipment and supplies to locations receiving new arrivals. Agreements with NGO partners were adjusted to ensure services in remaining camp locations. In 2019, 96 per cent of targeted children under 5 years have been vaccinated against polio, and 79 per cent of targeted children under 1 against measles. 95 per cent of planned newborns have been visited by health workers. Progress for Infant and Young Child Feeding counselling is at 57 per cent, while nutrition screening remains low (11 per cent) due to challenges in data flow from non-camp health centres.
Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM): UNICEF delivered 1,000 hygiene kits in Anbar to meet urgent needs of IDP families who were moved from camps in other governorates. The RRM Consortium completed the risk and capacity assessment for potential handover of the mechanism to Iraqi authorities; the final report will be available in October 2019.