Iraq
UNICEF photo: girl stands in front of tent blown dusty with desert sand © UNICEF Iraq/2016/Anmar After fleeing violence, 4-year-old Sarah and her family have found shelter in Tinah Camp.

Iraq

In 2016, UNICEF and partners plan for:
206,000

children received structured, sustained resilience or psychosocial support programmes

650,000

displaced children received learning materials

2.4 million

people newly displaced by conflict received family kits

2016 Requirements: US$179,191,212

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Snapshot

Total affected population: 10 million
Total affected children: 4.7 million2

Total people to be reached in 2016: 7.58 million
Total children to be reached in 2016: 6.58 million3

The military operation to retake the city of Mosul may create up to a million people in need of humanitarian assistance. Maintaining services for the existing 3.2 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) remains a challenge and the needs resulting from new displacement in 2016 have outpaced available resources. The lengthy economic downturn and limited financial capacity has meant that the planned transfer of responsibility to the government for ongoing operations has not been possible. Life-saving assistance remains critical for longer-term displaced and host communities. Water and sanitation infrastructure is weak and public health services are deteriorating, leaving children and women more vulnerable. Today, one in five Iraqi children is at risk of death, injury, sexual violence, recruitment, or abduction. Since 2014, UNICEF has verified 869 child deaths, and 834 child injuries in Iraq. The actual number is likely to be much higher.4 Nearly 1 million school-aged children are internally displaced, and 70 per cent of them have lost an entire year of school, placing them at increased risk of early marriage, child labour, and recruitment into armed groups.5

Humanitarian strategy

2016 Programme Targets

Health and nutrition

  • 5.9 million IDP and host community children immunized against polio7
  • 283,700 internally displaced children immunized against measles
  • 434,000 IDP and host community children have access to nutrition services (screening, referral and treatment services)

WASH

  • 1.9 million people, including vulnerable, at-risk displaced populations in and out of camps and newly-displaced, reached with clean water
  • 686,000 people with improved access to sanitation
  • 466,000 people provided with key basic hygiene supplies

Child protection

  • 206,000 children received structured, sustained resilience or psychosocial support programmes
  • 38,500 children received specialized protection services

Education

  • 650,000 displaced children received learning materials
  • 86,000 displaced children accessed learning (in pre-fabricated learning spaces)
  • 7,000 teachers trained

Cash transfer

  • 14,655 most vulnerable households received child-focused cash transfers

Rapid / Seasonal Response

  • 2.4 million people newly displaced by conflict received RRM kits with 72 hours of the trigger for response
  • 750,000 children better protected against the risks of winter

UNICEF’s response is in line with the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) 2016 and the newly-developed UN Mosul ‘Concept of Operations’ (ConOps) strategy. UNICEF is working to address the immediate needs of families on the move through the Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM); to provide health and nutrition interventions with a focus on women and children; and to provide access to safe water, appropriate sanitation and suitable hygiene support to populations in need. UNICEF intends to strengthen resilience through direct cash transfers to the most vulnerable families both within and outside of camps; and to increase access to safe learning spaces, quality education and sustained psychosocial support and specialized protection services for the most vulnerable children. UNICEF is also facilitating coordination through its leadership of the education and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) clusters, its leadership of the child protection sub-cluster, and its participation in the nutrition working group. Collaboration also continues with emergency mechanisms of the central and regional governments, United Nations agencies, international non-governmental organizations and local partners. The response to Syrian refugees is ongoing and is guided by the regional “No Lost Generation initiative.” The refugee response is detailed in the Humanitarian Action for Children 2016 chapter for Syrian refugees.6

Results in 2016

As of 30 September 2016, UNICEF has received 68 per cent (US$121.6 million) of its revised appeal of US$179 million. This is in addition to funds received in late 2015 (US$52 million) which have been carried forward into the current year. Requirements for water, sanitation and hygiene interventions have surpassed anticipated needs due to the support required to continue services for existing IDPs. As a result, UNICEF targets remain unchanged, as services will be maintained to existing populations. UNICEF targets include people in need as a result of the military offensive to retake Mosul city and surrounding areas. As of November 2016, conflict is ongoing and many people remain inside the city, inaccessible to humanitarian actors. Despite the inherent challenges, UNICEF is working to reach the most vulnerable children and families across Iraq. Insecurity and a limited presence of qualified partners constrain the response across all sectors, with particular difficulty finding qualified child protection, gender based violence (GBV) and psychosocial care service providers. UNICEF continues to provide much needed access to education, also by utilizing pre-existing educational materials procured in 2015. More children will be reached with an education-focused cash transfer in the autumn semester of the new academic year. Lifesaving RRM, Health and Nutrition response has been constrained due to limited funding, with 65 per cent and 50 per cent funding gap, respectively as of September.

Funding requirements

In July 2016, UNICEF revised its humanitarian requirement for 2016 from US$101 million to US$169 million. UNICEF is now further revising its humanitarian requirement for 2016 from US$ 169 million to US$179 million in order to support required operational services, specifically in the areas of water, sanitation and hygiene for Iraqi IDPs. As the military offensive to retake the city of Mosul intensifies, UNICEF will continue to support services for the existing IDP caseload, as well as meet the emerging needs as a result of conflict.

UNICEF urgently needs additional funds to:

  • Alleviate the immediate basic needs of families on the move through the RRM;
  • Provide lifesaving health and nutrition services to most vulnerable children;
  • Support additional rounds of essential vaccination services for infants;
  • Increase access to safe water supplies;
  • Offer expanded psychosocial support to children experiencing stress;
  • Increase availability or quality of support for GBV survivors; and,
  • Expand access to education.

UNICEF’s response to Syrian refugees is outlined in the Iraq chapter of the Syria Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan and the corresponding Humanitarian Action for Children 2016 appeal for Syrian refugees.

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1 This figure excludes the potential caseload from the Mosul offensive. Depending on the intensity of fighting and the scale of violence, up to 13 million Iraqis may need some form of humanitarian assistance by the end of 2016.
2 Children make up an estimated 47 percent of the affected population; depending on the intensity of fighting, this figure could increase to over 6 million children by the end of 2016.
3 Calculated as an aggregate of all children (under age 5) targeted in the nation-wide polio immunization campaign (5,931,000) and all children (aged 6-17) targeted with education support (650,000). Children targeted by the polio campaign include children that are not considered to be directly affected by the conflict.
4 UNICEF Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM) database. Figures are from January 2014 to September 2016.
5 UNICEF Iraq Education Briefing Note, September 2016.
6 ‘Humanitarian Action for Children 2015: Syrian refugees’, UNICEF, 2015, accessed 14 December 2015.
7 This polio target is for a much larger population than that affected by polio; is achieved in coordination with the Ministry of Health and World Health Organization (WHO).
8 The current cluster targets under the UN-wide HRP have not been revised to include the Mosul scenario. UNICEF targets include anticipated Mosul beneficiaries and are for this reason higher than those listed by the clusters. As of October 2016, Mosul-specific planning scenarios are being undertaken through the UN Mosul ‘Concept of Operations’ (ConOps) document, specific to Mosul response and additional to the HRP.
9 All UNICEF targets were revised in July 2016 to include anticipated additional displacements as a result of the military offensive on Mosul and surrounding areas.
10 Requirements for the programme, in particular for water, sanitation and hygiene interventions, have increased beyond what was foreseen, as UNICEF continues to provide substantial support to continue services for the existing IDP caseload. In this case, UNICEF targets remain the same as services will be maintained to existing populations.
11 WASH: UNICEF achieved its target and will focus on access to safe water and access to latrines
12 Data on health interventions is received according the Ministry of Health schedules. Reporting timelines may not always align with those of UNICEF. Mid- to end-year data is forthcoming.
13 More children will be reached with education-focused cash transfer in the autumn semester of the new academic year 2016/2017.