Ensuring UNICEF Iraq delivers timely, equitable and principled humanitarian action
The UNICEF humanitarian response in Iraq is supported by the Field Delivery team and includes: support to sector/cluster coordination; delivery of seasonal response (winter support); deployment of life saving emergency response mechanisms (RRM and MSEP) and support to delivery of UNICEF emergency and humanitarian response through technical assistance and oversight, preparedness planning and response coordination, resource mobilisation, analysis and advocacy.
Humanitarian partners estimate that around 8.7 million people across Iraq (including over 4.1 million children) require some form of humanitarian assistance in 2018. 2.6 million people are still displaced and continue to require vital services in both formal and informal settlements. Hundreds of thousands of displaced people are returning to their communities, but the conditions in the areas of origin are marked by enduring insecurity, damage to personal properties and public infrastructures and limited access to public services, all of which complicates the return process.
Iraq also hosts over 240,000 Syrian refugees, more than half of whom are children under 18 years of age, and around 95 per cent of whom live in the three northern governorates of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). Refugees continue to face many challenges, including limited livelihood opportunities and exhaustion of savings, which has compelled Syrian refugee households to resort to negative coping mechanisms.Over 90,000 refugees live in nine camps in Northern Iraq and remain dependent on support from the Government and humanitarian community.
The outcome envisioned is that UNICEF, government and key humanitarian partners effectively analyse, prepare and coordinate emergency response to children, adolescents and families at risk to be affected by conflict and in humanitarian situations, especially those who are most vulnerable.
The efforts to invest in government’s capacity and systems to coordinate and deploy emergency assistance will be informed by latest available data information and sharper analysis of the potential risk factors for better risk mitigation and preparedness.
Stronger collaboration will be promoted with government entities to deliver, support and coordinate the humanitarian response, and, jointly with the Government, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, cluster colead agencies along with key United Nations agencies, and civil society organizations, child-centred, risk-informed programme planning and emergency preparedness will be prioritized.
This will support risk analysis, implementation of mitigation measures, and monitoring of operational preparedness. To respond to large-scale emergency situations, UNICEF will deliver assistance in WASH, health, education and child protection, including through its yearly winter response programme.
Cluster / Sector Coordination
In Iraq, for IDP (‘cluster’) response, UNICEF co-leads the education cluster with Save the Children International (SCI);and leads the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) clusterwithAction Contre la Faimas co-coordinator, the child protection sub-cluster with SCI as co-coordinator and the Nutrition Working Group, under the wider umbrella of the Health Cluster. Under the leadership of the Ministry of Health (MoH), UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) coordinate with relevant line Ministries through the Cholera Taskforce. For Syrian refugee (‘sector’) response, UNICEF and UNHCR co-lead the WASH sector and the Child Protection sub-sector. In the Education sector, UNICEF co-leads with Save the Children International. UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Ministry of Health (MoH), and Centre for Disease Control (CDC) coordinate to monitor Acute Watery Diarrhea/cholera cases under the Joint Preparedness and Response Plan first which was initiated during the 2017 cholera outbreak.
The WASH cluster ensures the delivery of water, sanitation and hygiene promotion assistanceto affected populations in Iraq through better coordination of the response at all levels. The cluster aims to strengthen the humanitarian response by demanding high standards of predictability, accountability and partnership. It ensures more strategic responses and better prioritization of available resources by clarifying the division of work among organizations, and better definition of the roles and responsibilities of humanitarian organizations operating in the sector.
The protection of children during emergencies is an Area of Responsibility (AoR) within the Protection Cluster which is facilitated through the Child Protection AoR. As the designated Focal Point Agency for the Child Protection AoR, UNICEF in Iraq coordinates the Child Protection sub-cluster and is the provider of last resort . The group brings together NGOs, UN agencies, academics and others under the shared objective of ensuring more predictable, accountable and effective child protection responses across the country.
The Education Cluster ensures the provision of equitable access to education in a safe and protective environment to conflict and crisis affected children in Iraq. The Cluster is an open formal forumfor coordination and collaboration on education in the country, which brings together NGOs, UN agencies, academics, and other partners under the shared goal of ensuring predictable, well-coordinated and equitable provision of education for populations affected by humanitarian crises.
Nutrition Working Group
The Nutrition Working Group safeguard and improve the nutritional status of conflict and crisis affected populations in Iraq by ensuring an appropriate response that is predictable, timely and effective and at scale.