Iraq Response

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

Since early June, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and its allied militias have clashed with Government of Iraq (GoI) and Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) security forces throughout northern and central Iraq, particularly in Al Anbar, Diyala, Kirkuk, Ninewa, and Salah ad-Din governorates. On August 2, ISIL forces began seizing control of several areas in Ninewa Governorate, including Sinjar and Tal Afar districts. The insecurity displaced up to 200,000 people—predominantly from the Yezidi and other minority groups—between August 3 and 8, according to the U.N.

While relief organizations in Iraq are working to scale up emergency response efforts for populations in need countrywide, humanitarian access remains a significant constraint, preventing relief actors from fully assessing needs and from reaching the most conflict-affected areas.

On August 7, U.S. President Barack H. Obama authorized two operations in Iraq: a humanitarian effort to help thousands of Iraqi civilians surrounded by ISIL forces on Ninewa Governorate’s Sinjar Mountain without food or water, and targeted airstrikes to protect U.S. personnel and assist allied forces in Iraq as they attempt to protect civilians.

To date, the United States has airdropped food rations and safe drinking water for internally displaced persons (IDPs) on Sinjar and supported the provision of additional emergency aid, including food assistance, relief items, health care, and shelter support, to other IDPs in northern Iraq.

In addition, USAID is deploying a Disaster Assistance Response Team—comprising USAID humanitarian response experts—to Iraq to help coordinate U.S. government efforts to address the urgent humanitarian needs throughout the conflict-affected areas of northern and central Iraq. The team will work closely with local officials, the international community, and humanitarian actors to identify critical needs and expedite assistance to affected populations.








Total U.S. Government (USG) Assistance to the Iraq Humanitarian Response


*These figures are current as of August 11, 2014

Related Sectors of Work 

Last updated: November 02, 2016

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