United Nations


Qatar Supports WFP’s Food Program in Iraq

Qatar Fund For Development Supports WFP’s Food Assistance Program in Iraq

The Qatar Fund For Development (QFFD) has made a contribution of US$3 million to the United Nations World Food Programme to provide assistance for displaced people in Iraq. The funding will support more than 22,000 Iraqis living in camps.

“The Qatar Fund For Development is committed to supporting displaced people in Iraq, providing them with their basic human needs, and giving them hope for a better future,” said QFD Executive Director of Corporate Strategy, Ali Abdulla Al-Dabbagh after signing the contribution agreement in London.

In urban areas with functioning markets, families will receive cash, allowing them to buy the food they need in line with their dietary requirements and preferences. In areas where local markets are not well established, WFP provides assistance through e-vouchers, which can be used in selected shops.

“We welcome this donation from the Qatar Fund For Development,” said Francis Mwanza, head of WFP’s London office. “Although some Iraqis have returned to their homes, others have lost all their possessions and face security threats, these people remain in camps and continue to need our support.”

WFP currently assists 570,000 displaced Iraqis in camps each month with food rations and cash-based assistance.

(Source: WFP)

2018 Humanitarian Plans for Iraq Launched

On 6 March, the Government of Iraq as well as the United Nations and its partners launched their 2018 plans for Iraq – the Plan for Relief, Shelter and Stabilization of Displaced People, and the Humanitarian Response Plan.

With the end of large-scale military offensives in late 2017, many families have been returning and are trying to rebuild their lives and homes. As many as two million displaced Iraqis are expected to return in 2018; hence, all efforts must be made to support them in this transition.

This year, approximately, 8.7 million people, nearly half of them children, will require some form of humanitarian assistance.

The Minister of Migration and Displacement said:

The Government’s Plan for Relief, Shelter and Stabilization of Displaced People aims at strengthening the provision of legal protection to internally displaced persons as well as supporting safe returns.

“The plan focuses on supporting returning families with one-off emergency cash assistance to provide the necessities of life, in addition to supporting some basic projects, and continuing to support displaced families with relief items and maintaining the provision of services in camps.

Dr. Mahdi Al-Alaq, the Secretary-General of the Iraqi Council of Ministers, referred to Prime Minister Dr. Haider Al-Abadi’s directive on providing an appropriate environment for the return of displaced people through the implementation of stabilization projects in the liberated areas.

This affirmed the government’s keenness to return the displaced people voluntarily while ensuring the provision of basic services to people in the areas liberated by Iraq’s Armed Forces from ISIL terrorism.

In 2018, the Humanitarian Community, comprised of UN agencies, national and international NGOs and other partners, is requesting US$569 million through the Humanitarian Response Plan to respond to the needs of 3.4 million of the most vulnerable people in Iraq.

The provision of protection support is paramount. Without such services, families may be unable to return home, or will do so in unsustainable conditions.

Mr. Ramanathan Balakrishnan, the Acting UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, said:

As people return to their areas of origin with a large number of camps in Iraq becoming consolidated or decommissioned during the course of this year, many will need assistance including those who are returning as well as those who are unable to.

“Continued advocacy by the humanitarian community against involuntary or premature returns and strengthening mechanisms with the government authorities for supporting voluntary and safe returns is a key component of the 2018 humanitarian response plan.

The Government of Iraq and the humanitarian community in Iraq will continue to coordinate humanitarian assistance to better respond to the needs and challenges faced by displaced people and returnees across the country. The humanitarian operations will be conducted in close collaboration with the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government.

Overviews of the Humanitarian Response Plan, in Arabic and English, can be found in our Reports Section.

(Source: UN)

UK brings UNMAS Contribution to $20m

The UK Government has donated an additional 1 million GBP (1.3 million USD) to the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), increasing the UK total contribution to 14.2 million GBP (20 million USD).

The additional funding will boost UNMAS support to stabilization efforts by increasing survey and clearance of critical infrastructure in liberated areas. This is important before rehabilitation can commence and crucial for the safe, dignified and voluntary returns of displaced people.

The contribution will be used to deploy additional assets to Mosul during the months of January, February and March, in line with emergency operational needs. UNMAS began survey and clearance operations in Mosul’s Old City in late November 2017.

UNMAS efforts to ensure a coordinated stabilization response into Mosul have accelerated activities. Following planning meetings between the Government, UNMAS, UNDP, UN Habitat, UNEP, and UNESCO, UNMAS has now provided survey and clearance teams in five districts in the Old City.

UNMAS works in close collaboration with the Directorate for Mine Action and Iraqi Security Forces to complement the clearance work that has already taken place by the Government of Iraq following the liberation of Mosul.

Close collaboration with UNDP to provide survey and clearance capacities, as well as threat assessments, are an integral part of the Funding Facility for Stabilization’s (FFS) rapid needs assessment process in Mosul.

Between 1 December and 16 December 2017, UNMAS received 139 additional tasks from FFS, conducting survey and clearance in water treatment plants, hospitals and education centers. The additional funds will go towards continuing this response.

Jon Wilks, British Ambassador to Iraq, said:

“The survey and clearance work carried out by UNMAS is vital to the safety of returning Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Iraq. This latest contribution demonstrates the UK’s enduring commitment to UNMAS’ work and to supporting humanitarian and stabilisation efforts in Iraq.”

Pehr Lodhammar, UNMAS Senior Programme Manager in Iraq, stated:

“Continuous support from the United Kingdom allows UNMAS to further extend its support and activities to enable stabilization priorities and humanitarian activities, encouraging the safe return of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) to areas previously occupied by ISIL.”

Thanks to the generous contribution from the UK Government, UNMAS’ work has been made possible.

UNMAS will continue ensuring that explosive hazards are cleared in support of stabilization efforts and enabling access for humanitarian activities across Iraq. The total contribution of 14.2 million GBP (20 million USD) is supporting this life saving work in liberated areas of Anbar, Salah ah-Din, Ninewa and Kirkuk governorates.

(Source: United Nations)

New EU Strategy to Increase Support to Iraq

EU strategy on Iraq: new proposal to strengthen support to the Iraqi people

On Monday, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the European Commission adopted a Joint Communication proposing an EU strategy for Iraq in order to address the many challenges the country faces following the territorial defeat of Da’esh.

The proposal outlines both ongoing and longer term EU support to the country, fully taking into account the Iraqi government’s priorities.

Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the European Commission said:

“Iraq is at a crossroads in its history following the territorial defeat of Da’esh at great sacrifice. It is now crucial to act quickly and rebuild the country with the participation of all the components of Iraqi society, to promote and protect fundamental rights and the rule of law in each and every area: only inclusiveness can guarantee true reconciliation so that Iraqis can close once and for all with the past.

“This needs international support and we are ready to contribute, to keep supporting the Iraqi people and government in these challenges, for the sake of the people of the country and the region”.

Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides, who has visited Iraq several times to assess EU aid projects on the ground said:

The EU has been providing emergency assistance to the Iraqi people since the beginning. Humanitarian needs remain high and many people remain displaced by conflict. I have seen first-hand the suffering in places like Mosul and Fallujah and it is crucial that all aid efforts continue to be impartial and neutral. It is essential to support all Iraqi’s in need of assistance today and tomorrow, for as long as it takes.”

Iraq “Fully Implements” Chapter VII, Oil-for-Food Program

The UN Security Council announced on Friday that all the measures imposed in its resolutions 1958 (2010) and 2335 (2016) pursuant to Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations in relation to the Iraq oil-for-food programme had been fully implemented.

Unanimously adopting resolution 2390 (2017), the Council welcomed the fact that the remaining funds in the escrow accounts established pursuant to resolution 1958 (2010) had been transferred to the Government of Iraq pursuant to resolution 2335 (2016).

The Council acknowledged the Secretary-General’s final report on the matter (document S/2017/820), which stated, among other things, that the remaining $14,283,565 in the administrative escrow account had been transferred to Iraq.

Following the adoption, Amy Noel Tachco (United States) applauded Iraq’s complete implementation of measures under the oil-for-food programme, although the country still faced many challenges.  She looked forward to close cooperation internationally and bilaterally in support of Iraq as a federal, democratic and prosperous country.

Resolution

The full text of resolution 2390 (2017) reads as follows:

The Security Council,

Recalling its resolutions 1958 (2010) and 2335 (2016),

Acknowledging receipt of the final report of the Secretary-General pursuant to paragraph 4 of Security Council resolution 2335 (2016), S/2017/820,

“1.   Welcomes the implementing arrangements entered into by the Secretary-General and the Government of Iraq as requested in paragraph 7 of Security Council resolution 1958 (2010);

“2.   Also welcomes that the remaining funds in the escrow accounts established pursuant to paragraphs 3–5 of Security Council resolution 1958 (2010) have been transferred to the Government of Iraq pursuant to Security Council resolution 2335 (2016);

“3.   Concludes that all the measures imposed by the Security Council in resolutions 1958 (2010) and 2335 (2016) pursuant to Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations have been fully implemented by the parties.”

(Source: UN)

UN: Daesh “Down but Not Out” in Iraq

ISIL ‘down but not out’ in Iraq; UN envoy urges efforts to defeat group’s extremist ideology

The military victory against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) is only one component of a complex battle that addresses the root causes of extremist ideology, the United Nations envoy for Iraq said Wednesday.

“Da’esh remains able and determined to continue devastating random attacks against the Iraqi civilian population, against civilians globally,” Ján Kubiš, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), told the Security Council.

“Da’esh is down but not yet out even in Iraq,” he stressed, adding that “only by defeating its loathsome ‘takfiri’ ideology, choking off its external support, and addressing the causes that prompted so many Iraqis to join or tolerate Da’esh can this terrorist organization finally be eliminated.”

He noted that on 17 November, the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) fully recaptured Rawa, the last remaining densely settled area under Da’esh control in Iraq. Since summer 2014, Da’esh has lost 95 per cent of the territory it once controlled in Iraq and Syria and more than 7.5 million people have been liberated from its grasp.

But “this victory has come at a very high cost,” said Mr. Kubiš, noting that thousands of fighters and civilians were killed or wounded, hundreds of thousands of children brainwashed, entire cities in ruins, and some six million people have been displaced.

Further, Da’esh has exterminated or enslaved thousands of Muslims, as well as minority communities, particularly women and girls, in action amounting to war crimes and crimes against humanity, perhaps even genocide.

Mr. Kubiš encouraged the global coalition against Da’esh to continue both military and non military efforts to help Iraq ensure the lasting and sustainable defeat of Da’esh.

UN Concerned about Violence in Tuz Khurmatu & Kirkuk

The United Nations is concerned about reports regarding the destruction and looting of houses, businesses and political offices, and forced displacement of civilians, predominantly Kurds, from disputed areas.

The United Nations has received allegations of the burning of about 150 houses in Tuz Khurmatu on 16 and 17 October, by armed groups.

There were also allegations that up to 11 houses which reportedly belonged to Kurdish families and officials of Kurdish political parties were destroyed by explosives in the city. There were also reports of attacks against political offices of Turkmen parties in the Kirkuk Governorate.

The United Nations takes note of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s acknowledgement of incidents caused by what he described as extremist elements from both sides and his decision to send the Iraqi army to restore order in Tuz Khurmatu, as well as the calls by the political and security leaderships of the country requesting federal and local security forces to ensure and act in full respect for law and order and protect civilians and political leaders.

The United Nations urges the Government of Iraq to take every action to halt any violations and ensure that all civilians are protected and that the perpetrators of acts of violence, intimidation and forced displacement of civilians be brought to justice.

(Source: United Nations)

IOM assists Thousands Displaced from West Anbar

With some 8,500 people displaced over the past two weeks amid Iraq’s military operations to retake Anbar province, the United Nations migration agency announced today that it is stepping up provision of life-saving assistance.

“People newly displaced from their homes often arrive dehydrated, suffering from hunger and thirst,” said Dr. Hamed Amro, in a news release while assisting recently internally displaced people (IDPs) in Rutba.

While military operations to retake west Anbar were officially launched on 19 September, many families – often children, women and older people – walk long distances, some for several days, often in intense heat, to reach safe areas.

“Many require psychosocial support and need medical care. Some have chronic illness and exacerbated conditions due to long term lack of care, and others suffer from malnutrition; we have also received a few trauma cases,” Dr. Amro stressed.

From early January through 2 October, IOM’s Emergency Tracking has identified a total of 54,546 displaced individuals from west Anbar, particularly from Ana, Al Ka’im and Ra’ua districts.

An IOM update shows that some 85 per cent of them transited through Kilo 18 screening site and are displaced within Anbar governorate. By district, Falluja hosts 25,300 individuals, Ramadi another 15,100 and Heet 3,100. At the same time, 3,600 sought safety in the Baghdad governorate and 4,400 in the Erbil governorate.

Since January, 32,886 of the total 54,546 IDPs are currently registered in camps, and 21,660 in out-of-camp locations – with 21,132 in private settings and 528 in critical shelter arrangements.

In Anbar, IOM medical staff are providing immediate assistance to nearly 1,000 IDPs per week through four Mobile Medical Teams working in greatest-need locations, including Falluja city, Ameriyat al Fallujah, Heet and Garma. All are identified in cooperation with Anbar Directorate of Health, part of Iraq’s Ministry of Health.

In the past two weeks, IOM has worked closely with Iraq’s Ministry of Migration and Displacement in distributing 795 non-food item kits, including a plastic cool box and rechargeable fan, to families in Al Habanyah – in addition to 500 kits previously distributed to those not living in camps in Heet. Additional distributions are scheduled for the coming week.

“Life in Al-Ka’im city, under the control of ISIL, was extremely difficult,” said Ahmed, who, according to IOM, was displaced with his family of six to Haditha district, Anbar, in a perilous and long journey. “I hired smugglers to help my wife, four children, my mother and myself to escape. They drove us early morning through unpaved roads. Now we are displaced and living in an unfinished building; we have spent all our limited savings and have no money to cover our needs. The supplies we received today will help us get through this difficult time,” Ahmed told IOM staff at an aid distribution.

(Source: United Nations News Centre)

Social and Economic Integration of Iraqi Youth

Social and Economic Integration of Youth Key for a Better Future for Iraq

A new project will promote the social and economic inclusion of about 3,000 conflict-affected Iraqi youth by facilitating their engagement in youth-led community development activities, peacebuilding initiatives and micro-entrepreneurship projects. The Project is financed by a US$2.75 million Grant provided by the Japan social Development Fund (JSDF).

The project agreement was signed today by H.E. Mr. Abdul-Hussein Abtaan, Iraqi Minister of Youth and Sports and Ms. Yara Salem, World Bank Iraq Country Manager, in the presence of H.E. Mr. Ja Fumio Iwai, Japanese Ambassador to Iraq.

With one third of the Iraqi population between the ages of 15 and 24, Iraqi youth represent both an opportunity and a challenge for economic development. Youth can bring dynamism and innovation to the any economy, yet if not properly trained and integrated, they may also represent a drain on limited national resources.

“Investing in the youth is key to build a stable and more prosperous future for Iraq. This project will help promote the social and economic inclusion of youth in conflict-affected areas. It will provide them with the skills needed to find better job opportunities and contribute to the reconstruction of Iraq” said Abdul-Hussein Abtaan, Iraqi Minister of Youth and Sports during the signing ceremony.

The project is expected to be a powerful engine to promote a culture of tolerance and strengthen social cohesion. Educating youth on the values of peace has become a pressing need, namely considering the waves of violence and displacement witnessed by several areas of the country due to the conflict.

“The World Bank is very pleased to partner with Iraq in supporting youth and their active participation in the economy. This is at the heart of sustainable and inclusive development and in line with the World Bank support plan to Iraq for the coming period” said Ms. Salem, World Bank Iraq Country Manager.

The Project, which builds on the success of a similar initiative implemented in Southern Iraq (Basra, Missan, and Thiqar), aims to support at least 3,000 vulnerable youth in Baghdad, including 50 percent young women and 30 percent IDPs.

The project will be implemented by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, with the help of local non-governmental organizations and service providers to conduct activities under the soft skills training, youth-led community development subprojects and business development trainings.

(Source: United Nations)

UN Security Council Concerned over Kurdish Referendum

The United Nations Security Council today expressed concern over the “potentially destabilizing impact” of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s plans to unilaterally hold a referendum next week.

In a statement issued to the press, members of the Council noted that the planned referendum is scheduled to be held while operations to counter Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) – in which Kurdish forces have played a critical role – are ongoing.

The referendum “could detract from efforts to ensure the safe, voluntary return of over three million refugees and internally displaced persons,” the 15-member body added.

Secretary-General António Guterres earlier this week voiced similar concerns about the timing of the vote in a statement issued by his Spokesman, which noted that all outstanding issues between the federal Government and the Kurdistan Regional Government should be resolved through structured dialogue and constructive compromise.

“The Secretary-General calls upon the leaders across Iraq to approach this matter with patience and restraint. The United Nations stands ready to support such efforts.”

(Source: United Nations News Centre)