2014 UNHCR country operations profile - Iraq
| Overview |
Internal sectarian tensions and divisions are still polarizing Iraq, while the crisis in the Syrian Arab Republic (Syria) continues to feed instability in the region.
Iraq is not only receiving large numbers of Syrian refugees, but is also seeing the return of many Iraqi refugees, particularly from Syria. Often these returnees cannot go back to their places of origin, leading to new secondary displacement inside Iraq.
With the growing number of Syrian refugees putting additional strains on local infrastructure and essential services, which were already significantly weakened by the years of war and instability, access to basic services for the Iraqi population itself remains problematic. Stagnant socio-economic development further affects daily life in Iraq, while institutional capacity remains limited. These conditions hamper the ability of internally displaced people to return home. With this context, UNHCR and its partners deliver assistance and protection to vulnerable groups which are often located in remote areas.
Although Iraq is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol, the country has long been a host to refugees. A new refugee law has been drafted, and is pending with the Iraq Parliament and the Shura Council.
In 2013, the Government of Iraq has made significant financial contributions to support UNHCR's activities for Syrian refugees in Al Qa'im, Anbar governorate, and the Kurdistan regions since the early stages of the Syrian crisis.
People of concern
In 2014, the main populations of concern in Iraq will include: refugees and asylum-seekers from the Islamic Republic of Iran and Turkey who are mostly of Kurdish origin, and fled over a decade ago; Palestinians who were granted asylum by the previous regime, most of whom live in camps, settlements and urban areas across Iraq, mainly in the Kurdistan Region, but also in Baghdad and other central governorates; Syrians, the majority of whom currently reside in the Kurdistan Region or in Anbar Governorate; and growing numbers of Iraqi refugees returning to Iraq from neighbouring countries. There are approximately 1 million IDPs and 110,000 stateless people in Iraq who will be eligible for assistance from UNHCR.
|UNHCR 2014 planning figures for Iraq|
|TYPE OF POPULATION||ORIGIN||Dec 2013||Dec 2014||Dec 2015|
|Total in country||of whom assisted
|Total in country||of whom assisted
|Total in country||of whom assisted
|Syrian Arab Rep.||350,000||350,000||500,000||500,000||350,000||350,000|
|Asylum-seekers||Islamic Rep. of Iran||3,260||3,260||3,460||3,460||3,650||3,650|
|Syrian Arab Rep.||1,200||1,200||1,300||1,300||1,400||1,400|
|Returnee arrivals during year (ex-refugees)||Iraq||40,000||40,000||40,000||40,000||20,000||20,000|
|Returnee arrivals during year (ex-IDPs)||Iraq||50,000||50,000||40,000||40,000||30,000||30,000|
| Response |
Needs and strategies
UNHCR works with the Government, humanitarian stakeholders and donors in Iraq to provide protection and durable solutions for people of concern. Priority areas will be advocacy, legal and protection interventions, basic assistance and support to IDPs in newly and protracted displacement situations, as well as capacity building of governmental and national non-governmental organization (NGO) partners.
The Office will strive to enhance asylum space through coordination on protection issues, capacity-building for national counterparts and NGOs, as well as enhanced monitoring and assessment of the protection environment.
UNHCR will continue to review the international protection needs of residents who were transferred from Camp New Iraq (formerly Ashraf ) to Hurriya in Baghdad within the framework of the memorandum of understanding signed on 25 December 2011 between the Government of Iraq and UNAMI, and will continue to assist the Government in finding a durable solution for those in need of international protection.
Greater emphasis will be placed on ensuring sustainable local integration as a durable solution for refugees, refugee returnees and IDP returnees. The Office will seek, in collaboration with the Government, to establish a strengthened social safety net for the most vulnerable people.
UNHCR will also work closely with partners and civil society institutions to enhance its response to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), through improved monitoring, increased capacity dedicated to prevention and awareness-raising, and an enhanced network of quality legal, medical and social or psycho-social services for referral.
The strategy for addressing the needs of Syrian refugees will encompass protection and registration, monitoring of SGBV, and the provision of life-sustaining assistance and services in the camps. Special attention will be given to outreach for Syrian refugees in urban areas.
| Implementation |
In 2014, UNHCR will continue to focus on the need for sustainable and inclusive programmes that provide linkages to key national entities, other UN agencies and development actors. It will therefore invest in building national partnerships to ensure that programmes can be sustained in the long-term. It will also advocacate for refugees to be included in national development programmes. In 2014, UNHCR will concentrate on strengthening coordination and collaboration with partners, including UNAMI, UN agencies, the Government and line ministries.
Moreover, UNHCR will continue to coordinate the international humanitarian response to the Syrian refugee emergency and a coordination mechanism will be maintained in Baghdad, co-led by UNHCR and the Ministry of Displacement and Migration, with the participation of concerned UN agencies, NGOs and other humanitarian actors.
|2014 UNHCR partners in Iraq|
|Government of Iraq and Kurdistan Regional Government: Bureau of Displacement and Migration, Department of Displacement and Migration, Implementation and Follow-up Committee for National Reconciliation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Human Rights, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Migration and Displacement|
|NGOs: Agence d'Aide à la Coopération Technique et au Développement, AlKhair Humanitarian Organization, Association for Cultural Development for Civil Society, Association for Development for Civil Society, Association for Human Rights, Civil Development Organization, Consulting Bureau of Iraqi Engineering Union, Danish Refugee Council, Fuad, Happy Family Organization for Relief and Development, Harikar NGO, International Medical Corps, International Relief and Development, International Rescue Committee, INTERSOS, Iraq Board for Human Rights, Iraqi Humanitarian League for Human Rights, Iraqi Salvation Humanitarian Organization, Iraqi Youth League, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Kurdish Human Rights Watch, Mercy Corps, Millennium Relief and Development Services, Muslim Aid, Norwegian Refugee Council, Public Aid Organization, Qandil, Rafha Organization for Relief and Development, REACH, Rebuild Iraq Recruitment Programme, Resurrecting Iraqi People Centre, Save the Children Federation, Uruk, Women Development and Support Organization|
|Others: ICRC, IOM, MSB (Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency), OCHA, UN Women, UN-Habitat, UNICEF, United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), UNOPS, WFP, WHO|
| Financial information |
In recent years, the financial requirements for UNHCR's operation in Iraq have seen an overall increase from USD 239 million in 2010 to a revised budget of USD 293.7 million. This rise was primarily to address the needs related to the Syria Situation. While UNHCR's financial requirements for the Syria Situation will be reflected in the Regional Response Plan for Syrian refugees (RRP6), the overall budget for Iraq in 2014 is set at USD 216 million, a decrease from 2013 due to a drop in shelter construction. These financial requirements are based on the best estimates for 2014 using the information available as of mid-2013. In light of the evolving situation in Syria, any additional requirements, as they relate to the Syria emergency, will be presented in the Regional Response Plan for Syrian refugees (RRP6) and the Syrian Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan (SHARP), with the situation undergoing further review in the course of 2014.
Source: UNHCR Global Appeal 2014-2105