Shelter and infrastructure

Shelter and infrastructure

Problem Assessment and Comprehensive Response

Access to adequate shelter remains a serious concern, especially for vulnerable IDPs. IDP families living in critical shelters (unfinished buildings and informal settlements) account for 21 per cent of total IDP population (672,000 IDPs). Their living conditions are overcrowded and substandard. Some 9 per cent of IDPs (280,000 IDPs) live in one of the 62 formally established IDP camps across Iraq, shelter and infrastructure of which needs regular repair and maintenance. The remaining 70 per cent of IDPs live rented accommodation, or are hosted by the local population who also need shelter support in terms of rent and repairing of houses.

Under the 2017 comprehensive plan, UNHCR plans six activities to establish, improve or maintain shelter and infrastructure to ensure IDP families have access to live in adequate dwellings.

Activity 1: As part of the output to provide and sustain long-term/permanent shelter UNHCR will provide 18,000 households (15,000 in the Centre and 3,000 in the North) with repair and rehabilitation of damaged houses. UNHCR will target activities in return areas given some 750,000 IDPs are expected to be able to return in 2017. This return will lead to fewer numbers of IDPs in camps and probably closure and consolidation of some of the camps. However, additional shelter support will be required to repair and rehabilitate damaged houses at return locations.

Activity 2: Shelter support will also be provided through provision of shelter kits in cash to 5,000 households (all in the north).

Activity 3: UNHCR will also provide of in-kind shelter materials or maintenance tool kits to 10,000 households living in informal settlements in the north and 5,000 conditional cash grants.

Activity 4: As part of the output to construct and sustain general site operations, in 2017, UNHCR is planning to construct 20 new small to medium size (250 to 500 shelter plots) camps in central Iraq where new displacements are expected and where  new camps will be needed.

Activity 5: Further repair and maintenance of shelter and infrastructure in current camps and collective centres will be given priority. It is assumed that 155 structures (5 in the South and 150 in the North) will require repair and maintenance in 2017.

Activity 6: Procurement of 20,000 UNHCR family tents for emergency shelter will be used to replace tents in existing camps as well as for new camps. The tent procurement will also include the inner layer and partition. This activity will be conducted in central Iraq.

As a lifesaving mitigating factor and as a response to the regular harsh winter conditions it is important that UNHCR continues to take a leading role in supporting the government in providing fuel for heating in the winter months. Given the deteriorating economic situation, the Kurdistan Regional Government cannot be relied upon to provide kerosene in the winter of 2017, and likely the Government of Iraq will require support as well. Given the importance of basic heating to cope with winter weather UNHCR should be prepared for a comprehensive response in the winter of 2017. Based on previous successful winter support projects vulnerable families identified in need will be provided with either 100 litres of kerosene per household per month for November and December 2017, or the equivalent in cash, followed by a further 100 litres per household for January and February 2018. The Shelter/NFI Cluster, in conjunction with the national Cash Working Group, estimates the cost of kerosene at USD1 per litre.

It is recommended that a blanket approach is taken to provide in-kind heating fuel to all camp residents as has been the practice in previous winters and, given the volume of fuel and bearing in mind safety concerns, supply of in-kind fuel is considered the safest and most cost effective response for camps.

Prioritized Response

Adequate shelter remains one of the most significant needs towards the achievement of durable solutions for IDP families; however, not all IDPs in need can be provided with such due to the large number of displaced people and shortage of funds. UNHCR will continue exploring alternative solutions including advocacy for housing needs with other key actors involved in the IDP caseload, such as the Government, and on prioritized construction and repair of shelters for the most vulnerable IDP families.      

There is a limited number of organisations involved in providing shelter to IDPs, including to IDP returnees, with UNHCR the cluster’s main partner providing shelter assistance to refugees. With the current level of funding, shelter support to IDP returnees risks being very limited. Similarly the planned shelter support to IDPs in informal settlements and to those living in rented accommodation or with host families will not be possible to implement as planned.

In 2017, UNHCR's prioritized shelter response includes shelter repair of unfinished or abandoned buildings for 500 IDP families in central Iraq, house repair or provision of shelter kits to 2,060 IDP returnee families, construction of three new small to medium camps in central Iraq, repair and maintenance of 150 structures in the north of Iraq.
Impact Indicator Baseline Year-End Target
% of households living in adequate dwellings 60 66.7 75
Output Performance Indicator Year-End Target
General site operations constructed and sustained # of buildings/ structures constructed 6 8
Emergency shelter provided # of emergency shelters provided 19,360 20,000
Sectoral cash grants or vouchers provided # of households receiving cash grants for rental accommodation - 5,000
Shelter materials and maintenance tool kits provided # of shelter maintenance tool kits and materials provided 25,078 50,000
Long-term/ permanent shelter provided and sustained # of shelters repaired 2,550 15,500
General site operations constructed and sustained # of structures maintained (excl. shelters) 109 68
General site operations constructed and sustained # of structures repaired (excl. shelters) 313 500