WFP Iraq Country Brief, November 2017
Following the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) retaking of alQaim in western Anbar on 03 December, Iraqi Prime Minister Al-Abadi announced 10 December as a national holiday, Victory Day, celebrating ISF’s removal of the last Islamic State of the Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) stronghold in Iraq.
In November, WFP assisted 754,000 Iraqis governorates through the emergency operation and 57,000 Syrian refugees as part of the regional response. Additionally it distributed Immediate Response Rations to 71,000 people.
On 12 November, an earthquake of 7.2-7.5 magnitude struck along the Iraq-Iran border. Despite its magnitude, there was no effect on WFP’s operations and only a small amount of immediate food assistance was distributed.
On 12 November, an earthquake of 7.2-7.5 Richter struck along the Iraq-Iran border, of which approximately 1.8 million people live within the 100 km of the epicentre; several tremors were felt by neighbouring countries. Despite its magnitude, there were no effects to WFP’s operations and WFP distributed a small number of IRRs to affected people.
Iraq is moving towards a post-conflict context, and is preparing for general elections planned for May 2018. The Iraqi government has announced that it expects IDPs to return to their homes by April 2018, with the de-mobilization of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in disputed territories ideally resulting in a more secure and conducive environment for IDPs to return. WFP currently supports about 830,000 IDPs who are mainly in camps, and provides one-off food distributions to communities that are displaced by military operations and were previously inaccessible in informal settlements. In November, this included IRR distributions to people displaced by the military offensive to retake Western Anbar and by the ISF’s campaign to regain disputed areas in KR-I.
The Government of Iraq is preparing a returns process for IDPs, alongside the humanitarian community, which will provide assistance to 350,000 vulnerable IDPs who already live in camps and are part of WFP’s response plan. WFP, UNICEF and UNFPA are planning to assess the vulnerability levels of returning IDPs and provide mobility packages through Return Resource Centres established by the Government of Iraq. Assistance will cover water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) needs, non-food items, as well as one IRR per household, and two months of general food assistance to returnees (either in-kind food or cash-based transfers), depending on market conditions.