• The humanitarian situation in Iraq is largely a legacy of the 2014-2017 conflict with ISIS. Overall, 2.5 million people, including 1.1 million children, continue to need humanitarian assistance.
• UNICEF requires US$ 52.2 million to meet the critical and acute humanitarian needs of vulnerable children and families affected by a combination of humanitarian situations. UNICEF’s response to emergency-affected people in Iraq during 2022 is 78 per cent underfunded, with major funding gaps in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) (93 per cent), Education (80 per cent) and Health and Nutrition (74 per cent).
• During the second quarter of 2022, UNICEF co-led clusters/sub-clusters actively engaged in promoting the establishment of government led sector coordination working groups at both national and sub-national levels to replace the cluster system in 2023.
Funding Overview and Partnerships
For 2022, UNICEF requires US$ 52.2 million to meet the critical and acute humanitarian needs of vulnerable children and families affected by a combination of humanitarian situations, including protracted crisis due to conflict, political instability and the COVID-19 pandemic. As protection is central to UNICEF’s humanitarian action, the child protection response is the largest component of the country’s appeal at 41 per cent, followed by education and WASH. The funding requirement for 2022 is 21 per cent lower than 2021 due to a decrease in the number of people and children in need.
As of June 2022, only nearly US$ 5.96 million were received against UNICEF’s Humanitarian Action for Children (HAC) appeal in Iraq, while US$ 5.5 million were carried over from 2021. UNICEF’s response to emergency-affected people in Iraq during 2022 is thus 78 per cent underfunded, with a total funding gap of US$ 40.71 million. The sectors presenting major funding gaps are Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) (93 per cent), Education (80 per cent) and Health and Nutrition (74 per cent).
UNICEF’s HAC appeal in Iraq in 2022 is mainly funded by the Czech Republic, the European Community Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO), the Republic of Korea and the United States1 . In addition, UNICEF response benefits from flexible humanitarian thematic funding. Since the humanitarian situation in Iraq has, for a number of years, been evolving swiftly and unpredictably, the flexible and multi-year nature of thematic funding continues to be critical to allow UNICEF to support underfunded areas of programming and timely respond to emergency situations, reaching the most vulnerable populations in conflict and displacement-affected locations.
In the context of transition from humanitarian to development context, sustaining key essential services for the most vulnerable women and children remains a challenge due to lack of funding. Transferring responsibility to government agencies and finding sustainable solutions for IDPs also remains a challenge as the government still relies on UNICEF’s technical and financial assistance. UNICEF Iraq will look after available nexus/transition funding to maintain key interventions, while ensuring system strengthening and capacity building of the governmental authorities.