People are returning home after several years of conflict and displacement, but the Iraqi government faces significant challenges to ensure safety and stability, functioning infrastructure, and access to basic services and job opportunities. ? Relations with the autonomous Kurdish Region of Iraq (KR-I), which voted for independence in September 2017, remain fragile. ?

Some 10,000-15,000 IS militants are believed to remain in Hamrin Mountains, Kirkuk governorate, Mosul, the southern part of Ninewa governorate, and the desert areas of Anabar governorate. ?

Almost 65% of all people in need are concentrated in Anbar, Ninewa, and Salah al-Din governorates. ? Large scale displacement persists despite the expulsion of IS from Iraqi territory. Return movements slowed in 2018 as returnees often face damaged housing, insecurity, and lack basic services and livelihood opportunities. ? Additionally, Iraq hosts 250,000 Syrian refugees, of whom 99% live in KR-I. 69% of all Syrian refugees in Iraq are women and children. ?

INFORM measures Iraq’s risk of humanitarian crisis and disaster to be very high, at 7.2/10. Hazard and exposure as well as lack of coping capacity are of particular concern, at 8.6/10 and 7/10 rates.  ?



Restriction of movement due to insecurity, bureaucratic impediments, and increasing need for coordination between KR-I and Iraq restrict humanitarian access. ?Unexploded ordnance (UXO), especially in Ninewa and Kirkuk governorates, further hinder access to affected populations. ?


Latest Developments

21/3: Heavy torrential rainfall on 17 March affected around 300 people (60 families) living close to the Tigris river in Al Rashidiyah area, Mosul city. Many houses and public buildings have been damaged. Several roads are impassible due to collapsed bridges.?

14/3: Abu Al-Fulin and Al-Ja’af dams located over the Hawr Al-Hawizeh lake, Basra governorate collapsed on 12 March, following heavy rainfall. No casualties have been reported but 40,000 agricultural acres, planted with wheat and barley crops, in Qurna’s Al-Ruta area have been flooded. The harvest (May to June), is at risk, leaving many livelihoods’ vulnerable. ?

26/2: Iraqi authorities are hindering humanitarian workers providing aid and services, particularly to vulnerable families associated with or accused of having IS ties. Since January, Human Rights Watch documented more than 22 cases of harassment, physical assault and arrests by governmental officials in Nineveh governorate. ?

Key priorities

Health services are severely underequipped and understaffed and 5.5 million people are in need of health assistance. ?Psychosocial support is needed, especially among IDPs. ?

Protection is a major concern with 4.5 million people in need of protection assistance. ? Protection needs are particularly high in Anbar, Diyala, Ninewa, and Salah al-Din governorate. Explosive remnants of war are a particular safety risk. ?

Food and Livelihoods: 2.5 million people require food assistance and livelihood support, 60% of whom are in Anbar, Kirkuk, Ninewa and Salah al-Din governorates . ?


Information Gaps and needs

  • The tracking of IDPs that became refugees and the numbers of refugee returnees is lacking. Their needs and their whereabouts remain mostly unknown. 
  • Different delineations of administrative borders between central and regional governments (especially the KR-I) impacts on the accuracy of displacement tracking.