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

During the month of March, more than 124,000 people returned to areas of origin, representing an approximate 4 percent increase in countrywide returns since February, according to U.S. Government partner the International Organization for Migration. The majority of internally displaced persons (IDPs) returned to Ninewa Governorate, including nearly 77,200 IDPs who returned to Mosul city. Overall, approximately 91 percent of new returnees—nearly 112,000 people—were residing in Anbar, Kirkuk, Ninewa, and Salah al-Din governorates as of late March. Explosive hazards, movement restrictions imposed by security actors, and inter-communal tensions in areas of origin remain primary obstacles to returns, according to the Protection Cluster—the coordinating body for humanitarian protection activities, comprising UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholders.

In early April, USAID’s Disaster Assistance Response Team visited USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA)-supported shelter projects in Dahuk Governorate, where a USAID/OFDA partner is conducting basic repairs to unfinished buildings for IDPs. As of early April, the partner had completed upgrades to more than 5,500 shelters and unfinished buildings benefiting more than 75,000 individuals across Iraq.

The Government of Iraq (GoI) Joint Coordination and Monitoring Center (JCMC) is coordinating with humanitarian organizations to establish community resource centers (CRCs) to provide information and referrals for emergency, recovery, and stabilization services to returnees. The GoI JCMC plans to establish CRCs in Anbar and Ninewa, which collectively host approximately 70 percent of returnees in Iraq.









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


*These figures are current as of May 11, 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.

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Last updated: May 14, 2018

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