• High numbers of schools reopened for the new academic year, especially in retaken areas. UNICEF has supported at least 330,470 students (138,943 girls) to access education in IDP camps and in areas of return, and has delivered learning materials for more than 253,000 students in eight governorates
• In 2017, 2.3 million internally displaced people across Iraq, including 1.3 million children, received emergency water, food and hygiene items through the Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM). In October, the RRM reached 100,416 people displacing from Anbar, Kirkuk, and Salah al Din.
• The West Mosul water network is estimated at around 70 per cent functionality. In October UNICEF continued water trucking to 12 affected neighbourhoods in West Mosul, serving around 104,800 people.
• In October, increased internal insecurity after the Kurdistan independence referendum in September restricted some road access between the Kurdistan Region governorates and IDP camps in Kirkuk and Ninewa. UNICEF ensured remote monitoring and management arrangements were in place, and partners in affected camps responded to newly-arrived IDPs including children and families from Tuz Khurmato, Kirkuk, Al Qosh and Zummar.
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
The Government of Iraq (GOI) offensive to retake Hawiga district lasted around three weeks, finishing on 5 October 2017. Around 47,000 people were displaced because of the operations, but return movements followed swiftly once the town was declared under control of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF). An assessment in the town and surrounding villages indicated shortage of basic services with water, health and education services, household items and winter clothing reported as the most pressing need. Military operations to retake Rawa and Qa’im districts in west Anbar resumed on 26 October. An estimated 50,000 people were residents in Qa’im and Rawa before the operations but, by the end of the month, limited new displacements had been recorded as the military moved through sparsely-populated desert villages. Western Anbar poses humanitarian access challenges because of long travel distances, lack of shelter options, and explosive hazards along roads and in settlements. In October, tensions between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the federal Government in Baghdad remained high, although discussions were ongoing on various issues. In the last week of October, over 183,000 individuals fled disputed territories including Kirkuk, moving towards the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) due to realignment of military control after the KRG September independence referendum. Patterns of micro-displacement were complex in the disputed territories, as small-scale hostilities arose between Kurdish security forces (Peshmerga) and the ISF and Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF). The two airports in Erbil and Sulaymaniyah remained limited to domestic flights, and points of humanitarian access, have been sporadically closed, significantly affecting humanitarian access for Mosul operations. Concerns about waterborne disease outbreak remain high. The World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF are monitoring the situation with Ministry of Health (MoH), Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and relevant ministries.