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Iraq: US$569M urgently needed to respond to the needs of 3.4M of the most vulnerable people

06 Mar 2018


Today the Humanitarian Community, comprised of UN agencies, national and international NGOs and other partners, is requesting US$569 million through the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan to respond to the needs of 3.4 million of the most vulnerable people in Iraq.

The humanitarian crisis in Iraq is entering a new phase. Combat operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have ended and hundreds of thousands of displaced people are returning to their homes and communities. Retaken areas are being cleared of explosive hazards and rubble and major efforts are underway to restore electricity, water and sewage grids, re-establish the Government’s social protection floor, jump-start local economies and open schools and health centres. Displaced camps are being consolidated and de-commissioned and modalities are being put in place for ensuring that the highly vulnerable families who are currently receiving assistance from humanitarian partners are covered under the Government’s new Poverty Reduction Strategy.

The human toll of four years of intensive, virtually non-stop combat has been enormous. In 2014, 2.5 million civilians were displaced inside Iraq; in 2015, more than one million people fled their homes; in 2016, an additional 700,000 people fled and in 2017, 1.7 million civilians were newly displaced. Population movements have been multi-directional; at the same time that hundreds of thousands of people have been fleeing their homes, hundreds of thousands have been returning.

“As people return to their areas of origin with a large number of camps in Iraq becoming consolidated or decommissioned during the course of this year, many will need assistance including those who are returning as well as those who are unable to", said today Mr. Ramanathan Balakrishnan, the Acting UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq. "Continued advocacy by the humanitarian community against involuntary or premature returns and strengthening mechanisms with the government authorities for supporting voluntary and safe returns is a key component of the 2018 response plan.”

The pace and scale of displacement have made the Iraq crisis one of the largest and most volatile in the world. Civilians have been at extreme risk throughout, from aerial bombardment, artillery barrage, cross-fire, snipers, and unexploded ordnance. Tens of thousands of civilians have been used as human shields and hundreds of thousands have survived siege-like conditions.

During 2018, humanitarian partners estimate that 8.7 million people across Iraq will require some form of humanitarian assistance. This number represents the aggregate, rather than absolute number of people who will need some form of assistance. Using a standardized methodology, partners have assessed needs across five major categories of vulnerability.

1.5M IDPs living in camps and informal settlements 300K who might be forced to move as a result of asymmetric attacks and tensions 2M returnees 3.8M people in communities hosting large numbers
of displaced families
600K who remained in their homes during the
final offensives of the conflict