Operation: Opération: Iraq



Latest update of camps and office locations 21  Nov  2016. By clicking on the icons on the map, additional information is displayed.

Key Figures

2016 end-year results
231,000 registered Syrian refugees
89,000 internally displaced families received core relief items and 25,000 internally displaced families received winter asssistance
53,000 IDPs and 9,900 Syrian refugees received legal assistance
29,000 emergency shelters were provided to IDPs
24,000 Syrian refugee families received core relief items and 28,624 Syrian refugee families received winter assistance
18,000 internaly displaced families and 10,000 Syrian refugee families received cash grants 
11 camps were built in 2016 as part of emergency preparedness for displacement from Mosul and surrounding areas 
2017 planning figures
250,700 Syrian asylum seekers will be registered on an individual basis 
35,000 refugee children will be enrolled in primary education
20,000 emergency shelters will be provided, benefitting around 120,000 IDPs 
14,600 refugee families will be assisted with multipurpose cash grants
8,500 internally displaced people (IDPs) will be trained on sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) prevention and response
280 Community-based projects will be implemented to enhance the co-existence between host and displaced communities

People of Concern Personnes relevant de la compétence du HCR

Increase in
2016 5,326,166
2015 4,746,105
2014 4,026,863


[["Refugees",261888],["Asylum-seekers",11458],["IDPs",3604285],["Returned IDPs",1397016],["Returned refugees",157],["Stateless",48200],["Others of concern",3162]]
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2016 {"categories":[2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017],"budget":[231.49871145,293.72933672,564.26129787,556.06492208,546.94595405,557.0937609],"expenditure":[123.34774626,188.35476498,311.98260697,266.34543259,338.02568545,null]} {"categories":[2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017],"p1":[70.95823974,182.85293216,162.76932396,136.09662109,116.48767369,137.5293903],"p2":[1.10203691,1.32216338,2.00000074,2.0459884,0.80424081,0.623739],"p3":[29.91426377,27.30414868,39.59885527,35.76378805,26.70785472,null],"p4":[129.52417103,82.2500925,359.8931179,382.15852454,402.94618483,418.9406316]} {"categories":[2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017],"p1":[33.307784,131.81378143,109.08450058,102.03521415,98.77158239,null],"p2":[0.26050327,0.42206457,1.96887166,1.499491,0.30823717,null],"p3":[22.86569699,14.49497183,10.53576239,11.32961956,1.89021959,null],"p4":[66.913762,41.62394715,190.39347234,151.48110788,237.0556463,null]}
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  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017

Working environment

Military campaigns and other conflict caused large-scale internal displacement in 2016. The security and protection environment remained volatile, often creating mixed situations where new displacement occurred alongside IDP returns.  UNHCR and partners expanded protection activities monitoring population movements and advocated for humanitarian and sensitive principles to be observed, even in times of crisis, for any returns to be voluntary and in safety and in dignity.
A limited number of Syrian refugees continued to arrive in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR-I), though some spontaneous returns to Syria were also reported. Limited livelihood opportunities and the economic downturn in KR-I increased vulnerability among refugees. 


Population trends

  • Total number of displaced people in Iraq is 3 million (since 2014), of whom over 600,000 where displaced in 2016. 
  • More than 231,000 Syrian refugees registered in Iraq, 97 per cent of whom live in KR-I.
  • More than 42,000 non-Syrian refugees and asylum-seekers in Iraq.
  • An estimated 48,000 stateless people in Iraq.

Achievements and impact

  • UNHCR increased its operational capacity in 2016 to address the humanitarian and protection needs of civilians fleeing from Mosul and surrounding areas.
  • As part of the cluster coordination mechanism for the IDP response and in support of the Government, UNHCR continued to lead three clusters: protection; camp coordination and camp management (CCCM); and shelter/non-food items (NFI).
  • UNHCR took an inclusive approach to leading the refugee response in support of the authorities, coordinating some 44 partners in implementing the Regional Refugee Resilience Plan (3RP) in Iraq.  
  • UNHCR and its partners reached an estimated 370,000 IDPs across Iraq through protection services, such as facilitating access to certificates and missing documents, and advocacy against arbitrary detention and evictions. IDPs without identification documents are often unable to register with the Government and have issues moving through checkpoints and receiving government benefits.
  • UNHCR implemented 250 quick impact projects which benefit displaced and host communities to promote peaceful co-existence.
  • UNHCR submitted the cases of 462 Syrian refugee families for resettlement.

Unmet needs

  • Serious funding shortfalls created considerable gaps in the provision of protection and basic humanitarian assistance services for IDPs and refugees, including gaps in multi-purpose cash assistance (in light of the deteriorating socio-economic environment), food assistance (only available to camp residents), access to health services and medicine for chronic diseases, education (as the Ministry of Education is not able to cover the salaries of Syrian refugee teachers due to financial limitations), tertiary education and other educational opportunities targeting adolescents and youth.
  • UNHCR had limited capacity to implement IDP returnee programmes and peaceful coexistence projects despite increasing demand due to the deterioration and lack of services in the areas of return.
  • Due to limited funding, assistance for Syrian refugees was only targeted to people with specific needs and vulnerable families, despite the increasing number of Syrian refugees facing socio-economic constraints.

Ongoing violence in Iraq has led to successive waves of mass displacement and a deepening humanitarian crisis.  Iraq now has the third largest population of internally displaced people (IDPs) in the world, with 3.2 million people displaced in the country since January 2014. They join approximately 1 million people still displaced from the 2006 – 2008 period of conflict.

Many have sought safety in the Kurdistan region, which is also hosting nearly 97 per cent of the 250,500 Syrian refugees in the country. UNHCR expects the total population of concern in 2016 in Iraq will reach almost 4.1 million people, including: IDPs; some 310,000 Syrian refugees; 50,000 non-Syrian refugees; 40,000 refugee returnees and 50,000 stateless people.

In 2016, UNHCR will maintain its lead role in coordinating the inter-agency protection and humanitarian assistance response for refugees in Iraq. In addition, the Office will continue to lead the protection, shelter/non-food items, and the camp coordination and camp management (CCCM) clusters as part of the inter-agency IDP response. It will also continue to implement its country-wide cash assistance programmes for vulnerable IDPs, monitor the protection situation and respond to their needs.

The Government of Iraq has provided cash grants, access to health care and education, shelter and food to IDPs. However, its capacity is increasingly challenged by the sharp decline in oil prices and the escalating needs.

The Iraq situation, which is also affecting neighbouring countries that are hosting the majority of Iraqi refugees, is facing a serious funding shortfall. UNHCR will continue to prioritize assistance for the most vulnerable refugees. Any gaps will result in considerable reductions in the provision of protection services and basic humanitarian assistance such as shelter, relief items and cash support to vulnerable IDPs.