UNICEF Iraq Monthly Humanitarian Situation Report, November 2018

Situation Report
Originally published



• Heavy rainfall that started on 22 November disrupted water supply and sanitation networks in IDP camps in Qayyara, Ninewa, including the six Jeda’ah camps. Road access was temporarily halted due to flooding. After rehabilitation of the road by IOM, by 25 November UNICEF and partners restored safe water delivery (25 litres pppd) to the 52,000 people (24,440 children) in the Jeda’ah camp complex.

• In November, the Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) Consortium delivered emergency items including water and food to 24,648 individuals (12,670 children) in flood-affected camps and villages.

• UNICEF delivered education supplies to 50,722 children (25,868 girls), including in 234 schools across Hawiga (Kirkuk) and Dahuk. Since January 2018, 288,040 school-age children (126,511 girls) have received key materials to support learning.

• In November, UNICEF, the Iraq Central Statistics Office (CSO) and the Kurdistan Region Statistics Office (KRSO launched the sixth Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey. Key findings are that 80 per cent of all children experience violence at home or in school; and while 92 per cent of children are enrolled in primary school, only just over half of children from poorer backgrounds complete primary level, and less than a quarter graduate from secondary school.

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

Following heavy rains on 22 and 23 November, flooding caused widespread destruction across Iraq. Ninewa, Thi Qar and Salah al Din were the most heavily-affected governorates, recording several casualties and widespread damage to homes, schools, bridges, roads and other public infrastructure. Data from the Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) Cluster revealed around 18 camps for internally displaced people (IDP) affected by flooding, damaging infrastructure and impacting over 130,000 IDPs including 65,000 children. In Ninewa, several IDP camps including Qayyarah Airstrip, the Jeda’ah camp complex, and Nimrud camp all sustained heavy damages. Assessments in Ninewa identified tent replacement, restoration of WASH services, and drainage/clearing operations as immediate needs. As rains are expected to continue in the coming month, there remains a need to resolve shelter and camp infrastructure issues, especially surface water drainage systems, to mitigate against future flooding as well as exacerbated risks presented by cold winter temperatures. Conversely, heavier rainfall has contributed to alleviate freshwater stress in southern Iraqi governorates. In November, reduction in Acute Watery Diarrhoea incidence continued in Basrah and the total cases returned to below World Health Organisation (WHO) thresholds.

Findings from a recent study suggest rates of return are stabilising across Iraq. As of 31 October, 4.1 million individuals, including over 2 million children, had returned home, while 1.86 million individuals, including more than 900,000 children remain displaced.

More than half (54 per cent) have been displaced for over three years. Around 30 per cent of families are displaced in camps, 70 per cent in out-of-camp settings, including nearly eight per cent in critical shelter. Of those in camps, a majority remain in Ninewa (51 per cent) and Dahuk (27 per cent). Returnee populations also face challenges – more than 130,300 individuals (3 per cent) are in critical shelters, which increases their vulnerability to illness as winter approaches. In the coming 12 months, 64 per cent of IDPs intend to stay in their areas of displacement, 11 per cent plan to return, one per cent want to leave the country or resettle elsewhere in Iraq, and 24 per cent remain undecided. Families from Salah al Din and Kirkuk are most likely to return home within the next year, while those from Sinjar are least willing to do so. Key issues hindering returns include: problems with housing, earning a living and accessing basic services, social cohesion, security, and mental health issues. Destruction of houses in areas of origin was the most prevalent self-reported reason for continued displacement.

Between January and October, 16,932 newly-arrived families (approximately 101,600 individuals, including around 50,000 children) were recorded entering IDP camps in Ninewa. Around 51 percent of these ‘new’ arrivals were reported as secondary displacements.

The major reasons for return to camps continue to be financial or economic hardship, accompanied by limited or no access to adequate shelter due to damaged houses.8 In November, UNICEF and the Iraq Central Statistics Office (CSO) launched the sixth Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey. Key findings are that 80 per cent of all children experience violence at home or in school; while 92 per cent of children are enrolled in primary school, only just over half of children coming poorer backgrounds complete their primary education, and less than a quarter graduate from secondary school. In health, 5 out of 10 of children are fully vaccinated, with the poorest children missing out the most; and less than 40 per cent of all Iraqi households have access to safely-managed water.

Humanitarian partners in northern Iraq continued to face access constraints in the delivery of humanitarian aid during the month.

Despite high level advocacy on this, and although the parliament discussed a bill to remove federal checkpoints between the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) and federal Iraq, as of end-November constraints for humanitarian partners remained unresolved.

On 25 November, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake hit the Iran-Iraq border. 9 The Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) Joint Crisis Coordination Centre confirmed at least three people died and around 100 people were hospitalized, with injuries ranging from heartattacks, fractures, and lacerations from falling debris.