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|2021 planning figures|
|118,375||people of concern will benefit from legal assistance|
|80,165||people of concern will obtain civil status registration or documentation|
|68,749||refugee and IDP households will receive cash assistance|
|8,263||reported gender-based violence incidents for which survivors will receive psychosocial counselling|
|2019 year-end results|
|292,800||people of concern received core relief items, with distribution focused, inter alia, on births, new arrivals in camps and marriages|
|99,300||IDP, returnee and refugee families received seasonal cash support|
|47,200||IDPs and returnees received legal assistance, with 36,600 obtaining civil documentation|
|18,700||IDP, returnee, and refugee families received multipurpose cash assistance|
|10,500||emergency shelters were provided for IDP and refugee families|
People of Concern
Operational environmentThe overall political and security environment in Iraq remains fragile. Following months of political instability and intense mass demonstrations since 2019, an interim Prime Minister was appointed in May 2020. The Government is planning to hold early parliamentary elections in mid-2021, amid increasing regional tensions, a health and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and plummetting oil prices. As a result, stability, transition, and reconciliation efforts achieved so far have been undermined, and continued international support remains key to ensuring a solid recovery.
These events have negatively impacted the protection space for vulnerable displaced populations in Iraq, as well as the ability of humanitarian and development actors to respond to their needs. Protection risks for refugees, IDPs, returnees, and stateless persons remain acute. IDPs and returnees continue to face insecurity and constrained access to basic services and livelihoods while contending with destroyed properties and infrastructure. Their vulnerability has been further exacerbated by the pandemic, with many individuals having lost access to job opportunities and experienced increasing difficulties to make ends meet.
In October 2020, the Government announced a series of sudden IDP camp closures, which resulted in the closure of 13 camps and reclassifition of two camps as informal sites as of mid-December, affecting over 34,000 IDPs in Iraq. Aside from the departures due to sudden closures, regular departure movements continued in other camps, since COVID-19-related movement restrictions began to ease. In 2021, UNHCR will focus on durable solutions through area-based approach in return areas, including support for civil documentation and integration in areas of displacement.
The overall protection and asylum space for Syrian refugees in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq remains positive, although the closure of borders due to COVID-19-related restrictions remains a significant concern, preventing individuals from seeking asylum in Iraq. Durable solutions for refugees and asylum-seekers of other nationalities remain limited.
In 2021, in addition to its continued partnerships with the Government, NGOs and other UN agencies, UNHCR will enhance its collaboration with development actors to better ensure the systematic inclusion of people of concern into national development plans and development-oriented programmes. UNHCR will strengthen its partnership with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, as well as with the World Bank, UN-HABITAT, ILO and UNDP. UNHCR will continue to lead and coordinate the protection, camp coordination and camp management, shelter and non-food item clusters for the IDP response, as well as the inter-agency response for Syrian refugees, in coordination with the authorities, through the 3RP.
Key prioritiesIn 2021, UNHCR will focus on:
- Identifying and implementing durable solutions for IDPs by adopting an area-based approach for developing community projects. These projects will support social cohesion, help remove obstacles to return and explore other solutions for IDPs such as local integration in areas of displacement.
- Providing legal assistance to IDP and returnee populations in the form of legal counselling, representation and awareness-raising, particularly for civil documentation and detention.
- Conducting household assessments and providing cash assistance to IDP and returnee families identified as vulnerable and in need, as well as to vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers.
- Strengthening refugee registration and case management capacity, with UNHCR assuming direct responsibility for refugee registration country-wide to ensure all refugees and asylum-seekers are effectively documented.
- Mainstreaming gender-based violence prevention and risk mitigation, and working to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse through capacity development, awareness-raising, and co-leadership of the Iraq Network to Protect from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse.