Updated population tracking data shows that numbers of internally displaced people (IDP) have reduced from 1.66 million to 1.6 million since January 2019, with decreases in Mosul, Sulaymaniyah and Tikrit (Salah al Din) districts. In the same period, figures for returnees have increased from 4.2 to 4.3 million, a 1 per cent increase since April, with particular increases in Anbar, Ninewa, and Salah al Din. Around 30 per cent of displaced families live in camps.
Risks to children continue to be high due to explosive remnants of war, lack of access to basic services, and missing civil registration/birth documentation. Infrastructure, including for water and sanitation services, remains weak in areas previously affected by armed conflict, with large-scale investment needed to attain full delivery capacity. Schools run multiple ‘shifts’ in areas affected by displacement or infrastructure damage, with difficulties in allocating qualified teachers to serve in these locations. Health providers struggle to ensure access to maternal, neonatal, and infant care, including vaccinations, growth monitoring and parent/caregiver support.
Return of Iraqis from Al Hol camp in Syria continues to be expected, but with no further information available on arrival dates – there are around 46,000 Iraqis registered in the camp, who will return in stages. The majority are women and children with identified protection and health/nutrition needs. Humanitarian partners, including UNICEF, are updating preparedness plans in coordination with relevant Government counterparts as new information becomes available
# 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 June 2019
In 2019, 10,453 children received specialized child protection services, including reunification or alternative care
In 2019, 1,097,057 children under five years old were vaccinated against polio through campaigns
WASH: UNICEF and partners contributed 63 per cent of Cluster water supply response and 89 per cent of Cluster sanitation response (access to functional latrines). UNICEF-supported WASH response continues to around 730,000 individuals in camp and non-camp locations. Overall in 2019 progress has been supported by timely availability of resources, but continued investment is needed to maintain acceptable standards in camps, with some requiring more investment than others. Significant efforts continue with partners in the Jeda’ah camp complex in Ninewa – in July, 520 water points, 757 cesspools and septic tanks, and 3,799 toilets were rehabilitated improving access to WASH services for 53,000 IDPs (25,000 children). In many camps, temperatures up to 50 degrees centigrade place extra pressure on water supply due to increased use of air coolers, while poor/irregular electricity supply limits water pumping.
Education: Larger-scale teacher trainings on education in emergencies, PSS, and updated pedagogy began in July in Anbar and Ninewa, with 484 teachers (189 females) participating. In recent months, 18 education centres opened in Anbar, with 5,262 children (2,049 girls) accessing catch up classes and recreational activities. Allocating sufficient teachers in IDP camps is a persistent challenge – in 2019, UNICEF extended exceptional temporary incentives support to hire more than 1,000 ‘volunteer’ teachers in Anbar, Kirkuk, Ninewa and Salah al Din until the end of the 2018-2019 academic year. Volunteer teachers are selected by Directorates of Education (DoE) based on academic and professional background. Discussions are ongoing with the Ministry of Education for 2019-2020 teacher allocation.
Child Protection: UNICEF and partners reached over 90 per cent of the 2019 target for psychosocial support (PSS) and 101 per cent of the target for specialized protection assistance. Services for girls and women who have experienced, or been found at risk of, Gender-Based Violence exceeded the target by 49 per cent. Timely availability of resources has helped continue and expand partnerships; mid-year, UNICEF has expanded to four additional camps to ensure continuation of protection services after the exit of an NGO partner due to lack of funds. Fifty-two reports of grave violations of child rights were recorded since January, affecting 80 children (48 boys, 27 girls and five sex unknown), of which 47 incidents affecting 76 children were verified by the UN. Prolonged displacement and limited financial resources raise particular protection concerns related to negative coping mechanisms such as child marriage or survival sex. Although UNICEF funding for child protection interventions is good, overall funding for GBV is limited, with potential to negatively impact service delivery.
Health and Nutrition: Verified vaccination data was received, and as of July, UNICEF has contributed to support 1,097,057 children under 5(95 per cent of target) have been immunized against polio, and 241,527 children under 1(77 per cent of target) against measles. Nearly half of planned new-borns have been visited by trained health workers (49 per cent).
Progress for Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) counselling is at 45 per cent, while nutrition screening remains low (7 per cent) due to challenges in data flow from non-camp health centres, especially in areas of return. UNICEF supports the Health Management Information System (HMIS), but higher-level interventions, and change, take time. There are limited supplies available for treatment of Moderate Acute Malnourishment(MAM). Nutrition Working Group partners are investigating alternative supplementation available in the local market.
Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM): UNICEF brought a dedicated consultant on board from July to support acceleration of effortsin the coming four months, aiming to identify a suitable government partnerfor eventual handover of RRM.