UNICEF Iraq Monthly Humanitarian Situation Report, March 2019

Situation Report
Originally published



More than 4.2 million people, including over 2 million children, have returned to their places of origin, while over 1.7 million people, including over 900,000 children, remain displaced. More than half (54 per cent) of all internally displaced persons (IDPs) have been displaced for three or more years. Around 30 per cent of families remain displaced in camps, 70 per cent remain in out-of-camp settings, of which nearly eight per cent are living in critical shelter arrangements. Of those in camps, 80 per cent remain in Ninewa (52 per cent) and Dahuk (27 per cent). The prolonged nature of displacement has led to increased vulnerabilities among IDPs; in 11 districts, displaced persons are facing very high needs (as defined in the 2019 Humanitarian Needs Overview). Approximately 11 per cent of all returnees are in locations where living conditions are not considered to be adequate, dignified, and safe.

In the last week of March, heavy storms caused flooding that damaged bridges, roads, and other infrastructure throughout Iraq. Although no fatalities were recorded, negative consequences were seen in at least eleven out of Iraq’s 18 governorates, with Kirkuk, Salah al Din and Sulaymaniyah noted as the most acutely impacted areas. Humanitarian partners, including UNICEF, conducted assessments conducted assessment visits to affected areas and delivered lifesaving supplies to affected families in Tikrit, sometimes making delivery by boat. There remain concerns about availability of adequate drinking water, as some water treatment plants in the governorate are non-functional either due to floods or due to lack of water treatment materials.

3.3 million # of children in need of humanitarian assistance

6.7 million # of people affected (UNOCHA, 2019 Iraq Humanitarian Needs Overview)

In March, 59,856 children participated in structured psychosocial support

In March, 345,117 people had access to sufficient safe water supply

1.74 million # of internally displaced people (IDPs)
IOM DTM 2014 to 28 February 2019


WASH: In March, authorities in flood-affected areas requested support from WASH Cluster partners to repair damaged water projects and provide water treatment materials. UNICEF delivered 90 meters of pipes to Thi Qar, to be installed in Al Nasir sub-district, which will support by-pass of flood water from the Gharaf river to Massab al ‘Am drainage system, helping reduce risk of flooding for 250,000 individuals (117,500 children). As IDP camp closure continues, in March, UNICEF and partners dismantled movable WASH assets from Nazrawa and Debaga-2 IDP camps in Kirkuk. Assets are stored with the intention of re-locating them to other open camps as need arises. Rehabilitation works on water networks in Ninewa continued, including extension of feeding pipelines into returnee areas.

Education: Shortage of teachers in IDP camp schools continues to be a challenge. UNICEF, on an exceptional basis, is supporting incentives for 345 teachers on ‘volunteer’ contracts to ensure school access for more than 29,000 children in IDP camps in southern and eastern Ninewa.

Child Protection: Awareness-raising activities and trainings promoting safer environments for women and girls have reached 10,203 community members (3,775 women, 2,482 girls), of which 3,328 were reached in March. In 2019, 21 reports of grave violations of child rights were recorded, affecting 29 children (24 boys and five children of unknown sex), of which 16 incidents affecting 25 children were verified. Verified incidents included killing of 16 children and injuring of another five (all boys) due to various types of explosives. The pilot of the Child Protection Information Management System Plus (CPMIS+), which aims to improve case management, continued with 25 case workers and supervisors completed CPIMS+ training in March.

Health and Nutrition: On 10 March 2019, a ten-day Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) campaign began across nine of Iraq’s 18 governorates, reaching more than 2.6 million children aged 9 to 59 months. UNICEF supported social mobilization actions. Reporting against routine immunization faced delays in the first quarter of 2019 as data needs verification by the Ministry of Health MoH) - updates on routine services are expected by April reporting. In 2019, 88 cases of children suffering from Severe Acute Malnourishment (SAM) were identified and treated in UNICEF-supported IDP camps across Dahuk, Erbil, Kirkuk, Ninewa and Sulaymaniyah.

Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM): In case of return of Iraqis from Syria, the Consortium will deliver critical assistance at the border-crossing. RRM supplies have been prepositioned in Dahuk, with more supplies available in Erbil warehouses.

Cash-based transfer: As of March, 3,041 children from Mosul and Zummer, Ninewa have received cash for education support. The project includes awareness-raising sessions for parents and caregivers which cover importance of education, children’s rights and child protection issues, and available services.