Iraq

 
 

DRC began operating in Iraq in 2003 and was one of the first humanitarian organizations providing assistance in the area. Since early 2017, DRC has been one of the main actors responding to large-scale population movements, with first-line emergency responses in Ninewa, Anbar, Salah Al-Din and Kirkuk Governorates.

While positive developments in the context have ensued throughout 2017 and particularly during the latter half - challenges persist. There continues to be large-scale population movements, with some families voluntarily returning to their areas of origin. Unfortunately, due to a number of factors – including the active conflict, unexploded ordinance, lack of economic opportunities, and destruction of property – many have been forced into secondary and even tertiary displacement. Some families have been blocked from returning to their areas of origin due to perceived affiliations with IS. In other cases, displacement camps have been forcibly emptied, causing further displacement. Those remaining in camps face widespread unemployment and deteriorating public services both in camp settings as well as in their native communities. The pace and scale of continued, secondary and tertiary displacement continue to define the Iraq crisis as one of the largest and most volatile in the world.

DRC Iraq Interventions

It is estimated that 1.7 million people were displaced across Iraq throughout 2017 and required immediate humanitarian assistance. DRC responded by providing a range of interventions across the country, including life-saving camp management, protection, WASH, and shelter supplies and services to hundreds of thousands of displaced individuals and families. DRC’s response throughout 2017 was driven largely by forecasting the impact of major context developments, including that of military operations in Mosul, and decided upon based on complementary protection monitoring and multi-sector needs assessment activities. DRC focused on reinforcing its community relationships to ensure sustainable access into under-served areas with its range of front-line emergency response programming, including camp management, water trucking, and kit distributions.

DRC’s protection programming includes assisting internally displaced persons by providing legal assistance in order to apply for personal identity documents and housing, land, and property deeds. DRC also helps map out available services and referral pathways in key areas of return. DRC continued to work on protection monitoring in all governorates of operation, where protection-monitoring reports are collated and provided to key stakeholders. DRC is the primary protection service provider for the Qayyarah airstrip camp, which hosts a population of some 50,000 people.

DRC worked on the establishment of WASH services for hundreds of thousands of people fleeing Mosul where it was one of the first organisations completing WASH programming. DRC has been the Qayyarah camp WASH partner since its opening, expanding programming accordingly as new phases of the camp have been constructed and populated. DRC is continuing to provide water services for the population of 50,000 people.

DRC worked on the development of a new model of providing Sealing off Kits (SOKs), increasing their usage and success in various governorates. DRC also provided durable upgrades for certain levels of war-damaged buildings throughout Kirkuk, Salah-al-Din, Anbar for IDPs living outside of camps. In addition, DRC generated a new shelter/NFI kit methodology for distributions allowing beneficiaries to select goods most in-need, customized to their specific conditions, making kits more useful and used. The shelter and NFI programme in Iraq supported 36,469 people in 2017.

DRC worked on the development of a new model of providing Sealing off Kits (SOKs), increasing their usage and success in various governorates. DRC also provided durable upgrades for certain levels of war-damaged buildings throughout Kirkuk, Salah-al-Din, Anbar for IDPs living outside of camps. In addition, DRC generated a new shelter/NFI kit methodology for distributions allowing beneficiaries to select goods most in-need, customized to their specific conditions, making kits more useful and used. The shelter and NFI programme in Iraq supported 36,469 people in 2017.

DRC Iraq Strategic Focus

DRC plans to continue building its early recovery portfolio in the country, though will retain the capacity to provide emergency response activities in areas of continued displacement and/or conflict. DRC will continue to adapt its response to the changing context, moving away from large-scale wash programming in camps, NFI kit distribution, and general protection programming, in favour of more specialized, targeted activities. The organization will also continue to expand community-driven programming, particularly in areas deemed to be at greater risk of re-emergence of conflict. DRC will scale up livelihoods programming, using innovative programming models to involve greater participation of women and children. DRC will continue to integrate its response through an ‘area-based approach’, which was piloted throughout 2017.

DRC remains committed to taking a lead in the coordination of services at a governorate level, working closely with other partners, UN agencies, and government authorities. DRC will also continue to focus on key advocacy points, including the right of people to safe, voluntary, dignified and informed returns, protection of the most vulnerable populations, and ensuring that the remaining camps retain their humanitarian character.

During 2017 and 2018, DRC has received financial support from DANIDA, DFID, ECHO, EU Trust Fund, Foundations / Private Funding, GIZ, MFA-Canada, MFA-Finland, SDC, SIDA, UNDP, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNOCHA, UNOPS, WFP, US DoS and USAID.