UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, welcomes a new donation of USD 5.6 million from the Kingdom of the Netherlands for 2019 and 2020 to assist internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees, and Syrian refugees in Iraq.

This contribution is part of the global PROSPECTS Partnership aiming at joining partners’ efforts to develop a new paradigm in responding to forced displacement crises through the involvement of development actors. While Iraq recovers from conflict, the needs of its population diversify. Some 4.4 million people have returned to their homes and are restarting their lives; however, the conditions for sustainable return are not yet met across all the country.

Continued assistance for the 1.4 million displaced Iraqis and over 286,000 refugees, and the host communities, is essential to ensure a stable and peaceful recovery. The generous contribution from the Kingdom of the Netherlands will ensure the provision of legal assistance and civil documentation to internally displaced persons across Iraq, along with the provision of specialized individual and group-based psychosocial support for children.

In addition, the donation will contribute to improve the access to formal primary and secondary education for Syrian refugee children in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. H.E. Mr. Eric Strating (pictured), Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Iraq, emphasized the importance of the urgent recovery and strengthened resilience of those who have been affected and displaced by conflict. “If we truly want to assist Iraq in achieving durable stability, we cannot leave anyone behind. Assistance in the field of civil documentation, access to education, but also psychosocial support, is part of the most basic needs for people who are trying to rebuild their lives.”

Within this context, the Netherlands initiated the PROSPECTS Partnership in Iraq, aimed at strengthened cooperation of humanitarian and development partners, in order to achieve durable solutions for the 1.4 million displaced Iraqi’s and the 286,000 refugees on Iraqi soil.The recent Multi-Cluster Needs Assessment conducted from June to August 2019, shows that nearly 2.9 million individuals, including camp-based and out-of-camp IDPs as well as returnees, are missing at least one form of civil documentation.

With the generous donation from the Kingdom of the Netherlands, UNHCR will continue assisting IDPs to access legal assistance and civil documentation in collaboration with the Government of Iraq, helping them establish their legal identity, access public services, return to their homes, and exercise their basic rights.

Moreover, this contribution will support the provision of case management and psychosocial support for children survivors of violence, exploitation and abuse, and will complement education assistance aimed at ensuring access to formal education opportunities and obtaining official learning accreditation for Syrian refugee children.

“While the situation in Iraq has notably improved during the past years and the country is steadily transitioning and advancing into a new post-conflict phase, we need to continue supporting its people in their recovery and national reconciliation efforts. Particularly the more than 1.4 million Iraqis and over 286,000 refugees still affected by displacement and wishing to rebuild their lives. This generous contribution enables us to be responsive and compassionate with those that continue relying heavily on humanitarian assistance. With ongoing support, we will stand with all those affected by displacement in Iraq until complete recovery is achieved.” said Ayman Gharaibeh, UNHCR Representative in Iraq.

(Source: UN)

The Dutch Government Reiterates its Support to Explosive Hazard Management Activities in Iraq

The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) in Iraq welcomes an additional contribution of EUR 3 million (approximately USD 3.5 million) from The Netherlands to mitigate the threat posed by explosive hazards and enable the return of displaced communities to their areas of origin.

This contribution will mainly focus on the Sinjar district where one of the major problems post-liberation remains the presence of explosive hazards. Faced with military operations to reclaim the Sinjar territory in 2014, members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) deliberately booby-trapped private residences, ensuring that improvised explosive devices (IEDs) continue to haunt the city long after they had left.

These dangerous items are everywhere. Their presence threatens lives and impedes the safe return of internally displaced persons (IDPs). As of 31 October 2019, approximately 25,400 IDPs from Sinjar district are still estimated to remain displaced, with about 11,400 households having returned (International Organization for Migration; Displacement Tracking Matrix).

These remnants of war are also a significant obstacle to all rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts. No humanitarian projects can begin if critical infrastructure such as hospitals, power plants, schools, bridges, and roads are littered with IEDs – often barely visible to the untrained eye.

In addition to explosive hazard management activities, risk education will be delivered to affected communities from the area where clearance operations are taking place, either on site or in the nearby IDP camps. The Netherlands will also support a nine-month risk education campaign that will be implemented throughout 2020 and will be measuring the long-term effect and behaviour change following the delivery of life-saving messages through different channels and targeting specific audiences.

Last week, representatives from the Dutch Embassy in Baghdad were able to see first-hand explosive hazard management and risk education activities conducted by UNMAS implementing partner in Ramadi, Al-Anbar Governorate. Commenting on the visit, Mr. Tsjeard Hoekstra, Chargé d’Affaires, underlined the essential importance of mitigating the risks posed by explosive hazards left behind by Da’esh during a dark period in the recent history of Iraq. “The work of UNMAS and its partners is crucial in the light of the safe return of those that have been displaced during the conflict, and enabling affected communities to rebuild their lives. The liberated areas, such as Anbar and Sinjar, need our continued support towards stabilization and recovery, and the Netherlands is proud to strengthen its partnership with UNMAS in this regard.”

“We eliminate the explosive threat along roads, under bridges, from power and water plants, from schools, from critical infrastructure, so that those displaced by conflict can return to their homes, begin again to work, to educate their children, to contribute to society, to live a normal life. This would not be possible without the support from our donors. We are utmost grateful for the adiitional contribution from the Dutch Government,” added Pehr Lodhammar, UNMAS Iraq Senior Programme Manager.

(Source: UN)

The Dutch Government Reiterates its Support to Explosive Hazard Management Activities in Iraq

The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) in Iraq welcomes an additional contribution of EUR 3 million (approximately USD 3.5 million) from The Netherlands to mitigate the threat posed by explosive hazards and enable the return of displaced communities to their areas of origin.

This contribution will mainly focus on the Sinjar district where one of the major problems post-liberation remains the presence of explosive hazards. Faced with military operations to reclaim the Sinjar territory in 2014, members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) deliberately booby-trapped private residences, ensuring that improvised explosive devices (IEDs) continue to haunt the city long after they had left.

These dangerous items are everywhere. Their presence threatens lives and impedes the safe return of internally displaced persons (IDPs). As of 31 October 2019, approximately 25,400 IDPs from Sinjar district are still estimated to remain displaced, with about 11,400 households having returned (International Organization for Migration; Displacement Tracking Matrix).

These remnants of war are also a significant obstacle to all rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts. No humanitarian projects can begin if critical infrastructure such as hospitals, power plants, schools, bridges, and roads are littered with IEDs – often barely visible to the untrained eye.

In addition to explosive hazard management activities, risk education will be delivered to affected communities from the area where clearance operations are taking place, either on site or in the nearby IDP camps. The Netherlands will also support a nine-month risk education campaign that will be implemented throughout 2020 and will be measuring the long-term effect and behaviour change following the delivery of life-saving messages through different channels and targeting specific audiences.

Last week, representatives from the Dutch Embassy in Baghdad were able to see first-hand explosive hazard management and risk education activities conducted by UNMAS implementing partner in Ramadi, Al-Anbar Governorate. Commenting on the visit, Mr. Tsjeard Hoekstra, Chargé d’Affaires, underlined the essential importance of mitigating the risks posed by explosive hazards left behind by Da’esh during a dark period in the recent history of Iraq. “The work of UNMAS and its partners is crucial in the light of the safe return of those that have been displaced during the conflict, and enabling affected communities to rebuild their lives. The liberated areas, such as Anbar and Sinjar, need our continued support towards stabilization and recovery, and the Netherlands is proud to strengthen its partnership with UNMAS in this regard.”

“We eliminate the explosive threat along roads, under bridges, from power and water plants, from schools, from critical infrastructure, so that those displaced by conflict can return to their homes, begin again to work, to educate their children, to contribute to society, to live a normal life. This would not be possible without the support from our donors. We are utmost grateful for the adiitional contribution from the Dutch Government,” added Pehr Lodhammar, UNMAS Iraq Senior Programme Manager.

(Source: UN)

Highlights

  • Approximately 4,200 families across Iraq departed from camps while almost 500 families arrived in camps in August. The number of camp departures nearly doubled in August compared to July.
  • Camp closures and consolidations resulting in forced evictions, forced relocations and coerced departures continued in Anbar, Kirkuk, Ninewa and Salah Al-Din Governorates.
  • Families with perceived affiliation with extremists continue to endure collective punishment in the form of arrest and detention, confiscation of documents, physical and verbal abuse and denial of return.

Camp Closures, Forced Evictions and Relocations and Involuntary Returns

Based on data provided by the Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) Cluster, the number of families who departed camps across Iraq nearly doubled from the previous month as 4,226 families (19,965 individuals) departed in August compared to 2,312 families (11,492 individuals) in July.

In addition, nearly 90 per cent of families who arrived in camps in August were in secondary displacement as 454 families (1,862 individuals) out of the 499 families (2,113 individuals) newly arrived in camps were in secondary displacement.

Such increase in the number of camp departures as well as the high percentage of secondary displacement can be attributed to the camp closures and increased security measures that led to forced evictions, forced relocations to other camps and involuntary returns of IDPs across the country.

In Anbar Governorate, IDPs in Amriyeat Al Fallujah (AAF) camp and Habaniyah Tourist City (HTC) camp expressed concerns about continued movement restrictions imposed by the government forces impacting their access to livelihoods and health care.

In both camps, some IDPs expressed their willingness to stay in the camps due to security concerns in their areas of origin, while others stated they intended to return but are unable to due to infrastructure and housing destruction, tribal issues and lack of job opportunities in their areas of origin. Nevertheless, as a result of severe movement restrictions, many families decided to return.

In line with the recent high-level decision made by Iraqi national security authorities in Baghdad, the Ministry of Displacement and Migration (MoDM) issued a letter to camp management in Hammam Al-Alil (HAA) camp in Ninewa informing that 35 families from Anbar would be returned to their areas of origin.

Under the auspices of the government forces, on 23 August, MoDM transported 37 families (140 individuals) from HAA camps to HTC camp in Anbar. Upon departure, 16 families reported being relocated against their will, and several others reported being mistreated during the convoy travel.

(Source: UNCHR)

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, welcomes a new donation of EUR 3 million from the EU to assist internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Iraq.

This funding will contribute to ensure the provision of legal assistance and civil documentation to over 30,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) across Iraq and to guarantee that camp management and camp coordination services (CCCM) are in place in all UNHCR-managed camps in Ninewa Governorate.

While Iraq recovers from conflict, the needs of its population diversify. Some 4.3 million people have returned to their homes and are restarting their lives, however the conditions for sustainable return are not yet met across all the country. Continued assistance for the 1.5 million individuals who remain displaced and the communities hosting them is essential to ensure a stable and peaceful recovery.

Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, said:

“This new humanitarian assistance will be instrumental to help the most vulnerable populations in Iraq, especially the displaced. It is essential for the stability of the country. The people of Europe stand in full solidarity with the people of Iraq in this critical phase.”

Guaranteeing access to legal assistance and the obtention of civil documentation is a key aspect of recovery as it is a basic requirement for displaced persons to establish their legal identity, access public services, return to their homes, and exercise their basic rights.

The generous donation from the EU will secure that IDPs have access to these fundamental services, ensuring that returns are conducted in a safe and sustainable manner. For those living in camps, support remains critical.

In Ninewa Governorate alone, over 50,000 IDPs (8,300 families) are still living in UNHCR-managed camps With the EU’s aid, UNHCR will be able to ensure adequate services and key camp infrastructures are in place to support those living in them.

Ayman Gharaibeh, UNHCR Representative in Iraq:

While the situation in Iraq has notably improved during the past years and the country is steadily transitioning and advancing into a new post-conflict phase, we need to continue supporting its people in their recovery and reconstruction efforts. Particularly the more than 1.5 million Iraqis still affected by displacement and wishing to rebuild their lives.

“This generous contribution by the EU enables us to be responsive and compassionate with those that continue relying heavily on humanitarian assistance. With ongoing support, we will stand with the people of Iraq until complete recovery is achieved.

(Source: UN)

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, welcomes a new donation of EUR 3 million from the EU to assist internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Iraq.

This funding will contribute to ensure the provision of legal assistance and civil documentation to over 30,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) across Iraq and to guarantee that camp management and camp coordination services (CCCM) are in place in all UNHCR-managed camps in Ninewa Governorate.

While Iraq recovers from conflict, the needs of its population diversify. Some 4.3 million people have returned to their homes and are restarting their lives, however the conditions for sustainable return are not yet met across all the country. Continued assistance for the 1.5 million individuals who remain displaced and the communities hosting them is essential to ensure a stable and peaceful recovery.

Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, said:

“This new humanitarian assistance will be instrumental to help the most vulnerable populations in Iraq, especially the displaced. It is essential for the stability of the country. The people of Europe stand in full solidarity with the people of Iraq in this critical phase.”

Guaranteeing access to legal assistance and the obtention of civil documentation is a key aspect of recovery as it is a basic requirement for displaced persons to establish their legal identity, access public services, return to their homes, and exercise their basic rights.

The generous donation from the EU will secure that IDPs have access to these fundamental services, ensuring that returns are conducted in a safe and sustainable manner. For those living in camps, support remains critical.

In Ninewa Governorate alone, over 50,000 IDPs (8,300 families) are still living in UNHCR-managed camps With the EU’s aid, UNHCR will be able to ensure adequate services and key camp infrastructures are in place to support those living in them.

Ayman Gharaibeh, UNHCR Representative in Iraq:

While the situation in Iraq has notably improved during the past years and the country is steadily transitioning and advancing into a new post-conflict phase, we need to continue supporting its people in their recovery and reconstruction efforts. Particularly the more than 1.5 million Iraqis still affected by displacement and wishing to rebuild their lives.

“This generous contribution by the EU enables us to be responsive and compassionate with those that continue relying heavily on humanitarian assistance. With ongoing support, we will stand with the people of Iraq until complete recovery is achieved.

(Source: UN)

EU adopts new €100 million assistance package to benefit refugees and local communities in Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq

The European Union (EU) – via the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis – adopted a €100 million new assistance package to support the resilience of refugees, internally displaced person (IDP) host communities in Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.

This will be done through the strengthening of public service delivery systems, improved access to higher education, and improved child protection services.

With this new package €1.6 billion out of a total of €1.8 billion mobilised by the EU Trust Fund have now been turned into financing concrete actions helping refugees and host countries alike.

Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn commented:

“The EU delivers on its commitments. With these additional €100 million of assistance, the EU Regional Trust Fund in response to the Syrian crisis continues to support refugees to become increasingly economically self-reliant. Through access to income generating opportunities, they are able to take their livelihoods in their own hands, provide for themselves, and preserve their dignity.

“At the same time we are supporting host communities and Syria’s neighbours in their effort to expand their economies while coping with challenges related to the conflict which is still ongoing”.

The newly adopted €100 million aid package consists of the following actions:

  • €55 million to support the resilience of refugees, IDPs, returnees and host communities in Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq;
  • €28.4 million for access to higher education for refugees and vulnerable host youth in Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq;
  • €12.5 million to provide protection services to children and women victim of gender based violence in Lebanon;
  • €3.6 million to continue and strengthen the Trust Fund’s horizontal monitoring and evaluation framework.

This assistance package has been adopted by the EU Trust Fund’s Operational Board, which brings together the European Commission, fifteen EU Member States, and Turkey. Observers of the Operational Board include members of the European Parliament, representatives from Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, the World Bank, and the Syria Recovery Trust Fund.

The EU Trust Fund is now in its fifth year of implementation, but the Syria crisis is far from being over. Over time, the needs have changed and the Trust Fund has evolved from providing early recovery assistance focusing on addressing basic needs of those affected by the Syria crisis to equipping refugees and local communities with tools and skills for greater self-reliance.

The Trust Fund also focuses on reinforcing the national systems for public service delivery to meet refugee and local community needs in the longer term. Currently 67 projects have been contracted to implementing partners on the ground.

(Source: EU)

EU Provides Additional EUR 2M to IOM Iraq for Critical Infrastructure Improvements in Camps

Five years after the onset of the ISIL crisis and the subsequent massive internal displacement, over half a million Iraqis continue to live in camps.

The European Union (EU) has awarded an additional EUR 2 million to IOM in Iraq to make critical infrastructure improvements in camps for internally displaced persons. This brings the total EU humanitarian contribution IOM Iraq has received in 2019 to EUR 5 million.

With this additional allocation, in coordination with the Government of Iraq and local authorities, IOM will be able to improve the living conditions of camp residents. IOM will rehabilitate deteriorating road and drainage networks in three Jad’ah camps, near Mosul in Ninewa governorate.

The Jad’ah camps currently host over 8,600 households, around 35,000 individuals, the majority from the districts of Hatra, Mosul, Al-Ba’aj and Telafar in Ninewa. These families are among the most vulnerable in Iraq; return to their areas of origin is not feasible in the near future for a variety of reasons, including damage to their houses, continued insecurity, limited access to employment opportunities, and limited basic services in their hometowns.

“While many displaced families have been able to return, we cannot forget about those who remain in camps. Ensuring that those displaced by fighting have access to humanitarian assistance remains a priority for the EU in Iraq,” said Christos Stylianides, the European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management.

During the height of the 2014–2017 crisis, IOM and humanitarian partners in Iraq developed camps to house tens of thousands of families fleeing ISIL, often constructed quickly due to pressing emergency circumstances.  Infrastructure in those camps has since become worn and needs upgrades and repair.

“With our contribution we hope to improve the living conditions of Iraqis who are still in protracted displacement, and we encourage other partners in the humanitarian community to do the same. In 2019, we look forward to continuing to address these pressing needs in partnership with IOM,” Commissioner Stylianides added.

This humanitarian contribution by the EU will complement the previous allocation of EUR 3 million, received in March 2019, being used to conduct critical maintenance activities in camps across Iraq, to replace basic household items for camp populations and provide basic relief kits, including kitchen sets, blankets and mattresses.

“The conditions in many camps in Iraq have worsened over the last year due to natural wear-and-tear and limited investments. Camps have remained in service for longer than initially expected and now need upkeep and improvement,” said IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Gerard Waite.

“This additional allocation from the EU will enable IOM to provide much needed support in some of the most populous camps, which are housing displaced families who are among the most vulnerable, with no immediate or medium-term prospect of returning home.”

Return is especially difficult for vulnerable families, including those in a situation of protracted displacement, who after years of displacement have exhausted their resources and are not able to afford to rebuild their homes.

The EU, through its EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid department, and IOM Iraq have been in a strategic partnership to provide camp management, camp maintenance, infrastructure upgrades and shelter and non-food items response in and out of camps in Iraq since 2014, with a total budget of over EUR 36 million, assisting altogether more than 700,000 direct and indirect beneficiaries.

Both organizations continue to play a leading role in advocating for continued support to families in protracted displacement while coordinating to find longer-term solutions for these internally displaced populations.

Across Iraq, more than 1.6 million Iraqis continue to be displaced following the conflict with ISIL. Of those who were displaced, more than 4.2 million have been able to return to their areas of origin, according to IOM Iraq’s Displacement Tracking Matrix.

For figures and analysis on displacement in Iraq please visit: http://iraqdtm.iom.int/

(Source: IOM)

Toyota Iraq, UNDP and Oxfam support technical training for sustainable livelihoods Celebrating the graduation of 16 IDP’s in automotive mastery

Toyota Iraq, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Oxfam celebrated the graduation of 16 young trainees from the Toyota Technical Development Program Training. This group is the 5th batch of internal displaced people (IDPs) who have successfully completed Toyota certified training.

Through an on-going partnership, Toyota Iraq has contributed to the people and society of Iraq by successfully training 53 young men and women in automotive mastery, customer service and skills and spare parts. This training batch was the biggest in size, as well as in duration – with training commencing on 17th of February and concluding on 30th of May.

The extensive 3 months of continuous training delivered not only technical knowledge but also introduced the ‘Toyota Way’ and our corporate shared values, followed by inclusive technical training and an on-the-job experience for one month at Toyota Authorized Dealers in Erbil, Cihan Motors and SAS Automotive.

The successful collaboration of program partners – UNDP, OXFAM, the Government of Japan and Toyota Iraq, ensured that the latest training cohort were all able to complete training and receive recognition at Tuesday’s graduation ceremony.

Mr. Sardar Al.Bebany, president, Toyota Iraq, said:

“This program is one of the ways we provide support to local society. Through this program I have witnessed that when IDP’s are given equal opportunity for employment, they are empowered to change and improve their lives. We had total of 10 individual IDP’s now working with Toyota Iraq, as well as many others now working with other automobile companies”.

 Vakhtang Svanidze, Deputy Country Director, UNDP Iraq, also commented on the power of livelihood recovery for building resilient communities:

“Enhancing livelihoods and employment opportunities is one of the key elements for self-reliance and early recovery of conflict effected communities. UNDP is grateful for the support of Toyota and Oxfam to provide technical training for young men and women IDPs originating from areas across Iraq – including Mosul, Anbar and Salah al-Din, improving their employability and enabling them to access the job market with invaluable experience.   This project would not be possible to implement without generous financial support by government of Japan “

Reinforcing a commitment to provide on-going support for to the young men and women of Iraq, and to invest in the leaders of tomorrow, Toyota and UNDP renewed their partnership in early 2019, marking three years of collaboration in training and committing to a further two.

Toyota’s commitment is reflective of their core principles and dedication to support the local communities in which they work, “By respecting the culture and practices of each country and region and engaging in business activities with close community ties, we are working to create an enriching society while promoting measures that support labor and education”.

Likewise, the Government of Japan shares this interest to develop and build resilience in nations around the world, “We consider the Human Resource Development utmost priority allocating more than $ 350,000,000 to support in a variety of development programs around the world,” commented Japan Consul in Erbil, Mr. Moriyasu.

The conclusion of the graduation ceremony, was marked by Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Shinsuke Fujimoto, who expressed on behalf of all Toyota Iraq, a proudness for the great achievement of each graduate and and well wishes for their success in the next step of their career.

This programme was launched on the 25th of October 2016 as a flagship joint project between UNDP and Toyota Iraq to give internally displaced young people opportunities to enter the automotive industry, with the partnership renewal as of 28th of January,2019.

(Source: UNDP)

By Amnesty International.

Nobody wants us: The plight of displaced female-headed families in Iraq

Amnesty International and other organizations have continuously documented the collective punishment of displaced families, especially female-headed families.

Many are perceived as supporters of the Islamic State armed group (IS) due to factors outside their control – such as being related, however distantly, to men who were somehow involved with IS – and are ostracized by the rest of society.

Such families have reported being forcibly displaced, evicted, arrested, had their homes demolished or looted or faced threats, sexual abuse and harassment, and discrimination after returning to their places of origin.

More here.

(Source: Amnesty International)