UNICEF Iraq Monthly Humanitarian Situation Report, May 2018

Situation Report
Originally published



• In May, the Rapid Response Mechanism partners delivered immediate emergency water, food, and hygiene supplies to 10,946 highly-at-risk individuals including 6,165 children across four governorates. The majority of people (95 per cent) were reached in Qayyarah camps and Sinjar district, Ninewa.

• 50,220 people (23,604 children) in Mosul had continued access to safe water through UNICEF-supported trucking. Ongoing ‘quick fixes’ to water networks continue, and UNICEF delivered water piping sufficient for 6km of repairs.

• 10,172 newly-registered displaced children accessed psychosocial support (PSS) in May, delivered through UNICEF child protection partners in camps, return, and host community locations, while 251 children accessed specialized child protection services.

• A sub-national polio campaign reached 1,558,208 children under five across the country, of which 421,060 children were reached in UNICEF’s priority governorates of Anbar, Kirkuk, Ninewa, and Salah al Din.

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

Over 3.8 million people, including 1.9 million children, have returned to their homes, while just over 2 million people (1 million children) remain displaced across Iraq. Of these, 597,930 Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) remain in camps and more than 1.4 million remain in non-camp locations, including nearly 272,000 individuals living in critical shelter arrangements (i.e., informal settlements or municipal buildings such as schools) 2. Between January and May 2018, the number of IDPs decreased by 570,270 individuals, while the returnee population has increased by 609,396 individuals. Although new displacements have been minimal and the general trend continues to be of increased rates of return, population movements in the first five months of 2018 have continued, largely caused by movement of families who, after returning to places of origin, have experienced continued insecurity or violence, low social cohesion or fear of retaliation, or have found themselves unable to access livelihoods or basic services. As a consequence, some families have decided to return to a displacement location.

Heavy rains in early May left over 800 displaced Yazidi families, including around 2,900 children, on Sinjar Mountain in need of urgent assistance. These families fled to the mountains in 2014, when Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) attacked Sinjar and have been living there since then in makeshift tents. Several families lost their tents, food supplies and personal belongings due to floods. Delivery of assistance to this group was delayed by several days due to the remoteness of the location, limited presence of humanitarian partners, and road access restrictions imposed by authorities during the May national election. Access restrictions were lifted post-election, and humanitarian response teams delivered assistance including hygiene items and food. In mid-May, a joint UN assessment mission to the area identified replacement of destroyed tents and repair of damaged water pumps as a priority need.

Armed attacks were reported on several candidates for the Iraqi parliament in the lead-up to the elections which took place on 12 May. On election day, security precautions included closure of land, air, and sea borders, as well as restrictions on internal movement between governorates. In the last week of May, the Iraqi parliament announced its decision to annul all expatriate votes and commissioned verification and recounting of 10 per cent of total votes. Ballots from major displacement camps in Anbar, Salah al Din and Diyala governorates were also cancelled. High-level negotiations among various political coalitions continue, in pursuit of a governing coalition of at least 165 members of the 329-seat Iraqi Parliament.