Fatima, 10, washes her face at a water tank provided by UNICEF in Tinah Camp on September 5, 2016. USAID has been supporting UNICEF to provide safe drinking water at the displacement camp in Ninewa Governorate to keep families, especially kids, healthy.

Key Developments

On March 6, the UN released the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), which outlines humanitarian activities and objectives in Iraq for 2018. The HRP requests approximately $569 million in international humanitarian assistance to support approximately 3.4 million of the estimated 8.7 million people in need countrywide.

As of late February, more than 3.5 million people had returned to areas of origin and other locations in Iraq since 2014, while approximately 2.3 million people remained displaced throughout the country, U.S. Government (USG) partner the International Organization for Migration reports. Relief agencies remain concerned regarding continued reports of forced evictions and premature camp consolidations, and continue to advocate for safe, dignified, and voluntary returns.

From February 12–14, USG representatives and other international delegations, foreign investors, non-governmental organizations, and UN agencies participated in the Kuwait Conference for Iraq Reconstruction to discuss economic and stabilization interventions in Iraq. During the conference, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced the Iraq Recovery and Resilience Program—a two-year reconstruction plan that requests more than $1 billion to repair homes, create livelihood opportunities, rehabilitate water infrastructure, and promote sustainable returns to areas of origin, among other activities.

Heavy rainfall across northern and central Iraq in mid-February resulted in flooding at more than 15 internally displaced person (IDP) camps, affecting approximately 201,700 IDPs, relief agencies report. In response, humanitarian organizations, in coordination with the Government of Iraq, distributed shelter supplies and bolstered drainage infrastructure at affected sites.









Total USAID and State Assistance to the Iraq Humanitarian Response in FY 2017


*These figures are current as of March 9, 2018


The situation within Iraq remained relatively stable until January 2014, when Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) forces began seizing control of parts of northern and central Iraq. Significant population displacement ensued as civilians fled to areas of relative safety, such as the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, to escape fighting. The ongoing conflict has displaced nearly 3.4 million people within Iraq since early 2014, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

In 2017, the UN estimates that 11 million people in Iraq require humanitarian assistance. Prolonged displacement is exhausting the resources of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host community members alike at a time when serious budgetary shortfalls due to low global oil prices are limiting the capacity of both the Government of Iraq and Kurdistan Regional Government to respond to humanitarian needs. Meanwhile, UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, and other relief actors face funding shortages, logistical challenges, and security constraints that complicate efforts to meet critical needs.

On August 11, 2014, USAID deployed a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to help coordinate USG efforts to address the urgent humanitarian needs of newly displaced populations throughout Iraq. DART and U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (State/PRM) staff in Iraq work closely with local officials, the international community, and humanitarian actors to identify critical needs and expedite assistance to affected populations. To support the DART, USAID also established a Response Management Team (RMT) based in Washington, D.C.

On October 10, 2016, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Douglas A. Silliman re-declared a disaster in Iraq for Fiscal Year 2017 due to the ongoing complex emergency and humanitarian crisis.

Related Sectors of Work 

Last updated: March 13, 2018

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