About 8.7 million people in Iraq, including 4 million children, need at least one form of humanitarian assistance in 2018, according to the 2018 UNICEF Humanitarian Needs Overview issued on Saturday.
"Using a standardized methodology, partners have assessed needs across five major categories of vulnerability, estimating that 1.5 million internally displaced people living in camps and informal settlements will require assistance in 20181; 300,000 people may be forced to move, or be secondarily displaced due to asymmetric attacks and tensions in disputed/unstable areas; 2 million returnees may require some form of limited humanitarian assistance, including 500,000 highly vulnerable people who have already returned; 3.8 million people in communities hosting large numbers of displaced families; 600,000 people who remained in their homes during the final offensives of the conflict, including 500,000 people from Mosul and Tel Afar, 60,000 people in Hawiga, and 40,00 people in western areas of Anbar."
"Although 3.34 million people have returned to homes destroyed by violence, 2.47 million remain displaced, including over 1.2 million children. In 2018, the humanitarian community anticipates a reduction in armed violence, though volatile dynamics are expected to continue caused by asymmetric attacks particularly in areas where ISIS or other armed groups retain local support, and due to increased tensions in Iraq’s disputed internal border (DIB) areas which persist in the wake of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) referendum on the Region’s independence in September 2017. Children remain highly vulnerable and protection concerns are significant. Nearly half of internally displaced school-aged children, some 335,000 children, are out of school."
"Priority needs of displaced families remain improved access to necessities such as food, water and healthcare services. For non-displaced populations, access to vocational training, clothing and winterisation supplies were highlighted as priority needs. Assessment findings highlighted a need to continue humanitarian support to populations remaining in displacement, even as rates of return to towns and villages increases."
"Health and education sectors have been particularly hard-hit. The number of consultations performed in health clinics has increased eightfold since 2014, and 36 per cent of health centres in Salah al Din are damaged or destroyed; only half in Ninewa are fully functional. Schools in conflict-affected areas are operating double and triple shifts and, in 2017 alone, more than 150 schools were damaged or destroyed. As camp consolidation processes continue, those who cannot or choose not to return to places of origin will remain in IDP camps and will require continued education, health, water sanitation, and child protection services. Children who lived in areas formerly under control of ISIL need psychosocial support (PSS), access to basic healthcare, support to re-enter school, and safe spaces to play. Iraq’s public services remain overstretched, with water and sanitation networks damaged by war or neglect and overburdened health systems struggling to serve displaced children and families. Stigmatization and retaliation against families associated with ISIL and sectarian violence are likely."
"In relation to internal political tension, progress was observed in January 2018 between the Government of Iraq (GoI) and the KRG, as the two sides finalized an agreement to resolve outstanding issues, including control of international border points with neighbouring Turkey and Iran and control of airports in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). The agreement is pending the approval of the Iraqi Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers to take effect."