© UNICEF/NYHQ2014-0819/Wathiq Khuzaie © UNICEF/NYHQ2014-0819/Wathiq Khuzaie


UNICEF is appealing for US$319.4 million to meet the growing humanitarian needs of children and women in Iraq in 2015.

In 2015, UNICEF and partners plan for:
3.5 million

people have access to a sufficient quantity of safe water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene


IDP and host community children regain access to education

1.4 million

displaced individuals receiving essential relief items

2015 Requirements: US$319,412,617

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Total affected population: 5.2 million
Total affected children: 2.6 million

Total people to be reached in 2015: 3.5 million
Total children to be reached in 2015: 1.75 million

The humanitarian consequences of violence in Iraq have been catastrophic leaving some 5.2 million people in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. As of December 2014, more than 2.2 million Iraqis are internally displaced (half of them children), 1.5 million host community members are vulnerable, and 1.7 million people in need of humanitarian assistance remain inaccessible in areas under the control of armed groups. Ongoing conflict and violence, including targeting of minorities, continue to trigger new and secondary displacements. IDP movements remain highly fluid, with the vast majority dispersed across thousands of locations across the country. In addition to IDPs, Iraq continues to host over 210,000 Syrian refugees, primarily in the north of the country, out of which 64 per cent are women and children with specific protection needs.

In early 2015, faced with the harsh onset of winter, IDPs and refugees are in dire need of warm clothes and other winterization materials, access to water and sanitation services, and basic health services. Inadequate shelter remains a critical concern as thousands of families continue to live in unfinished buildings and other sub-standard arrangements, directly affecting over half a million children in the north. Over 2,000 verified cases of grave child rights violations underscore the need for strengthened protection as well as monitoring and response mechanisms. The poor nutritional status of children, compounded by the cold, has significantly increased respiratory infections among infants.

Humanitarian strategy

Programme Targets (Sept 2014 – Dec 2015)


  • 3.5 million people have access to a sufficient quantity of safe water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene
  • 500,000 have access to appropriate sanitation facilities and services
  • 700,000 have access to basic hygiene items and messages on safe hygiene practices

Health and nutrition

  • 5.6 million children aged 0 to 59 months vaccinated for polio in crises affected areas
  • 60,000 most vulnerable children vaccinated against measles
  • 340,000 children have their growth monitored

Child protection

  • 75,000 children access Psycho-Social Support Services
  • 10,500 children receive specialized child protection services


  • 250,000 IDP and host community children regain access to education
  • 60,000 children provided psychosocial support through education programmes

Social protection

  • 10,000 most vulnerable families receiving child focused cash transfers

Rapid response

  • 1.4 million displaced individuals receiving essential relief items


  • 200,000 vulnerable children better protected from risks of winter with appropriate clothing

UNICEF’s humanitarian strategy in Iraq is in line with the revised inter-agency Strategic Response Plan (Sept 2014 – Dec 2015), focusing on the needs of IDPs, host communities and other vulnerable populations in the context of the worsening humanitarian crisis. UNICEF works closely with central and regional government actors as well as local and international partners to provide access to life-saving assistance and essential services focusing on the sectors of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), health, nutrition, education and child protection, as well as to strengthen resilience. UNICEF leads the Education and WASH Clusters, as well as the Child Protection sub-cluster.

Given the scale of the crisis, expanded access to WASH, health, nutrition, education and child protection services will be provided to over 3.5 million people, including 1.75 million children. The primary focus in the short-term is to provide life-saving winter clothing and materials to 200,000 vulnerable children as well as emergency supplies through a Rapid Response Mechanism to 1.4 million highly vulnerable IDPs. In addition, UNICEF will target 10,000 highly vulnerable families with child-focused cash transfers. UNICEF will also continue to ensure that all children are immunized against polio to prevent the contraction of any new cases inside Iraq. UNICEF’s response to Syrian refugees in Iraq is outlined in the HAC chapter on the Syria Regional Refugee Response and Resilience Plan (3RP).

Results 2014

Starting in mid-2014, in response to the escalating violence and displacement, UNICEF rapidly scaled up its humanitarian response. UNICEF and partners distributed rapid life-saving assistance to over 240,000 highly vulnerable through its Rapid Response Mechanism, and with the onset of winter, reached almost 60,000 children with warm clothing and materials.

In WASH, UNICEF and partners provided almost 760,000 people (50 per cent children) with access to safe drinking water, over 466,000 people with hygiene materials and 68,000 people with access to latrines. Over 38,000 children benefitted from expanded access to education, and over 13,000 children benefited from psycho-social support and access to recreational opportunities at Child Friendly Spaces in an effort to provide a sense of normality and to strengthen coping mechanisms. Some 2,031 cases of grave child rights violations were monitored, verified and documented through a strengthened Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM), which is critical to informing evidence-based programming and advocacy.

To reduce the risk of communicable diseases, UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) supported the Iraqi Ministry of Health to conduct 6 national and 4 sub-national polio immunization campaigns, immunizing over 5.6 million children against polio. Among these, some 340,000 IDP children were also vaccinated against measles. In addition, UNICEF supported the immunization of refugee children (mainly in response to the influx from Kobane) upon arrival in Iraq. Given the increasingly precarious nutrition situation, UNICEF reached 13,500 children with nutrition and growth-monitoring interventions.

Funding requirements

As part of the revised Strategic Response Plan for Iraq (Sept 2014 – Dec 2015), UNICEF is requesting US$319.4 million to meet the growing humanitarian needs of women and children across the country. As of 9 December 2014, US$131.2 million (41 per cent) was available against the appeal, leaving a shortfall of US$188.2 million. UNICEF is grateful for funds received to-date and is urgently appealing for additional funds to enable the provision of critical humanitarian needs of affected women and children in the areas of WASH, health, nutrition, protection and education.