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

Heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding during late March and early April resulted in displacement, disruptions to safe water supply, and increased risk of waterborne diseases, affecting an estimated 273,000 people across several central and southern governorates, the UN reports. Humanitarian agencies provided emergency food assistance, medical supplies, and other relief items to flood-affected populations in April.

In mid-April, a U.S. Government delegation—including U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Joey Hood and representatives from USAID’s Disaster Assistance Response Team and State/PRM—traveled to Anbar Governorate’s Fallujah District, where local authorities and representatives of Anbar’s Amriyat al-Fallujah internally displaced person (IDP) camp reported that movement restrictions in the camp, limited access to civil documentation among IDPs, and impediments to IDP returns remain primary concerns in the governorate.

The Government of Iraq reported more than 37,000 acres of agricultural land across Iraq had burned in more than 270 separate incidents from May 8–June 8; unconfirmed origins of the fires include natural causes, controlled burns escalating, and acts of terrorism. Diyala, Kirkuk, Ninewa, and Salah al-Din governorates were most affected as of late May.

On May 26, the UN Security Council extended the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq until May 31, 2020. UNAMI will continue to support ongoing GoI stabilization, reconstruction, and development efforts, as well as assist the GoI with the coordination and delivery of humanitarian assistance and the safe and voluntary return or local integration of Iraqi refugees and IDPs.









Total USAID and State Assistance to the Iraq Humanitarian Response in FY 2018


*These figures are current as of June 24, 2019


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: July 02, 2019

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