Iraq: Mass displacements prompt urgent plea

24 June, 2014
June 2014, Anbar, Iraw: An Iraqi woman from Mosul holds her daughter in one hand and empty water containers in the other. Two other children follow her in search of water near the Garmava temporary camp in central Iraq. Credit: UNHCR/S. Baldwin
June 2014, Anbar, Iraw: An Iraqi woman from Mosul holds her daughter in one hand and empty water containers in the other. Two other children follow her in search of water near the Garmava temporary camp in central Iraq. Credit: UNHCR/S. Baldwin

The UN and its humanitarian partners have revised their strategic response plan for Iraq and are now calling for US$312 million to support 1 million people through the end of 2014. The original plan, issued in February, sought $105 million.

This revision comes on the heels of the displacement of 650,000 people following the fall of the city of Mosul earlier this month. In all, some 1.2 million Iraqis have been displaced by violence since the start of the year.

People need water, food, shelter and protection

In a statement released at the end of last week, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, Jacqueline Badcock, said that hundreds of thousands of people were in need of basic support.

“Many are staying in the open and urgently need water, food, shelter and latrines,” she said. “There are concerns for their protection and reports of an increase in gender-based violence among the displaced.

Other pressing needs include healthcare, education and protection.

Humanitarian access limited, funding inadequate

“Humanitarian agencies are rapidly scaling up,” said Ms. Badcock. “Food, water, tents and other essential supplies are reaching families in need, additional staff are being mobilized, and emergency funds are being released.”

However, Ms. Badcock warned that ongoing conflict and an extremely volatile environment meant that humanitarian access to displaced people could be limited.

“I remind all parties to the conflict that they must allow unfettered and sustained humanitarian access to all people in need,” she said.
Aid efforts are further thwarted by a slow donor response. Only $19 million – six per cent of the revised response plan – has been received.