Revision of the Strategic Response Plan for Iraq 2014

24 June 2014

Strategic objectives

  • Provide displaced persons, host communities and local populations in conflict-affected areas with life-saving protection and humanitarian assistance in the form of emergency shelter, non-food items (NFIs), water and hygiene kits, health care, nutrition, agricultural inputs and food security.
  • Assess and closely monitor protection needs of displaced and conflict affected persons in order to ensure that adequate services and support are provided.
  • Ensure access to education, legal services and psychosocial support for displaced persons and conflict-affected populations, especially the most vulnerable.
  • Humanitarian access is improved and human rights are respected.


Since the fall of Mosul on 9 June, armed opposition groups (AOGs) including Baathists, tribal militias and members of the former regime/military, along with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), have taken control of large swathes of Iraq’s provinces of Ninewa, Salah Al-Din and Diyala.  The cities of Mosul, Tikrit, Tal Afar, Beiji, Quayyara, Sinjar, Suleiman Bek, Rashad, Hawijah, Riyadh, Fallujah and Saqlawiyah, are currently under AOG control. Since January much of Anbar has been under ISIL control.

This has led to massive internal displacement. Iraq is now contending with one of the largest internally displaced populations in the world; over a million people have been displaced since January this year and approximately 560,000 of these have been displaced from Anbar.  Following the fall of Mosul an additional 650,000 persons are estimated to have been displaced.

The original Strategic Response Plan (SRP) launched in February 2014 is now being expanded and its duration extended to take into account the new displacement and the potential for further displacement should the conflict continue. This revised SRP uses a planning figure of 1.5 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).  The SRP targets the million IDPs of their number who can be accessed.  The priorities identified reflect the findings of rapid assessments undertaken since the fall of Mosul as well as ongoing assessments of the population displaced by the events in Anbar province. 

Priorities identified include:

NFI/SHELTER: The majority of IDPs are currently inadequately accommodated in schools, mosques, abandoned buildings and open fields.  Shelter will be improved with provision of tents and reconstruction, and non-food items will also be supplied. NFIs. Local authorities will be assisted with planning for sites to be used as collective and transit centres.

FOOD SECURITY: Clear evidence is emerging from assessments that displaced people are resorting to negative coping strategies.  Many displaced families are now only eating one meal a day. Longer term displaced people who have minimal opportunities for livelihoods and income generation and who have been accessing food assistance for some time are becoming reliant on this form of aid. Food parcels will be distributed as monthly rations.  Each package will meet the needs of a family of five and will include25 kilos of wheat flour, 15 kilos of rice and a 25 kilo box of mixed staples of pasta, bulgur, lentils, canned beans, vegetable oil, sugar and salt.  This household ration provides each family member with approximately 1,700 kcal per person per day or about 80 per cent of their daily kcal requirements (based on a 2,100 kcal diet). Furthermore, the escalation of conflict together with large displacements, has coincided with the harvest of winter crops including wheat. Quick impact food production and income generating activities will implemented to safeguard the upcoming cereal planting season as well as animal health and productivity.  

WASH - Water, sanitation and hygiene: Recent assessments reveal a lack of safe water in addition to inadequate access to sanitation services, hygiene materials and hygiene education. These results confirm previously available WASH information, which found insufficient access to potable water, poor water quality monitoring, deteriorated water networks, improper maintenance of drinking water production facilities and a lack of sewage collection and treatment facilities. Existing water supply systems largely rely on the availability of national power supply and water purification chemicals, both of which have been disrupted by the conflict.Access to water supply, sanitation facilities, hygiene kits/hygiene promotion, and a cleaner and healthier environment will be provided to the affected population with a focus on the most vulnerable IDPs. This will be carried out through appropriate interventions such as water trucking and emergency water distribution systems (when needed , and from water sources monitored for sustainability), water quality measures (chlorination, water quality surveillance, purification tablets, provision of emergency toilets and rehabilitation/upgrading of existing facilities, distribution of WASH NFIs, promotion of hygiene practices and management of solid waste and wastewater when it is threatening the health of children and weak people and/or local water resources.

HEALTH: In many areas the health infrastructure and access to health services have been disrupted due to the conflict.  Where facilities exist and are functioning, most have been inundated with the influx of the displaced.  Medical supplies are in short supply.  Routine vaccination programmes have been disrupted and currently there is a real risk that polio will not be eradicated in Iraq. Support will be provided for curative services and lifesaving preventive health interventions such as vaccinations, additionally the IDPs and host communities will be assisted to access essential health services. This includes the provision of: primary health care services; establishment of a referral system for severe cases; prevention and management of communicable diseases; immunization against polio and measles including vitamin A; provision of life-saving medicines and medical supplies, particularly items needed for injuries/trauma and chronic diseases (communicable such as Tuberculosis, and non-communicable such as blood hypertension and diabetes); treating severe acute malnutrition and preventing micronutrient deficiencies and provision of reproductive health care packages for displaced pregnant women. Capacity strengthening of nutrition stakeholders will be undertaken to facilitate screening and provision of nutrition service to avert deterioration of the nutrition situation.

PROTECTION: In order to ensure respect for human rights and to preserve the dignity of displaced people, affected populations are to be provided with access to legal assistance and protection services which promote the respect and protection of human rights. Protection monitoring mechanisms will be enhanced by mobile teams providing legal assistance, including issuance of documentation, and cash assistance for persons with specific needs.Working with communities,the teams will provide psychosocial support and legal services to affected populations in need, including survivors or those at risk of gender based violence (GBV). Grave violations against women, girls, men and boys will be monitored and psychosocial needs of children affected by the conflict will be met through referral and direct provision of services including legal assistance to juveniles. Dignity kits will be procured for women. The Protection Cluster will ensure protection is mainstreamed into the overall humanitarian response.

LOGISTICS: Due to the complexity of the evolving crisis, it is imperative to maintain a smooth flow of information to maintain adequate stocks, identify transport needs so goods can be delivered in a timely manner, and negotiate access to affected communities. A coordination and information management mechanism will focus on identifying and maintaining supply chain corridors and strategically placed storage facilities. The Logistics Cluster will also provide transport and storage services for partners involved in the humanitarian response which either have no presence on the ground or have limited logistics capacity.

EDUCATION: Children are particularly vulnerable in situations of protracted displacement or violent upheaval.  It is critical tomitigate the psychosocial impact of the crisis and restore normalcy, stability and hope for the future. It is imperative to ensure that children have regular access to safe learning spaces and to undertake a cohesive set of life-saving education interventions which allow for delivery of accelerated learning and catch-up classes for children and adolescents who have lost school time due to violence and displacement. Education channels can be used for rapid dissemination of critical information on environmental risk and as a means to monitoring and mitigating disease outbreaks. Additionally, existing coordinationmechanisms for timely humanitarian response will be strengthened by the involvement of the Ministry of Education and the provincial Directorates of Education.

Parameters of the response

The SRP addresses the significant needs of over a million people displaced as a result of recent conflict.  It prioritises areas geographically (the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and the Governorates of Anbar, Mosul, Kirkuk, Salah Al-Din, Diyala, Baghdad and Babil) and also sectorally where there are gaps in support from humanitarian entities acting outside this SRP, including the Government. Government capacity is completely over-stretched and the capabilities do not exist to contend with this scale of displacement. The aim is to meet the immediate humanitarian needs of the people affected by the crisis in a manner that promotes the respect and protection of human rights. The SRP focuses on displaced and host communities and on people located in areas affected by armed conflict. It does not include the ‘previous case load’ of approximately one million people displaced by the previous conflict in Iraq, nor refugees from Syria.


Document History

24 June 2014

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