• Crisis Severity ?
    3.9
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Impact ?
    4.2
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
    3.6
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Complexity ?
    4.1
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Access Constraints ?
    4.0
    No constraints
    Extreme constraints

Key figures

  • 41,191,000 Total population [?]
  • 2,757,000 People in Need [?]
  • 253,000 Syrian Refugees [?]

Overview

02/06/2022

The people of Iraq have endured consecutive crises over the past two decades, including the US-led invasion, incidents of sectarian violence, the conflict with IS that created significant internal displacement, and most recently the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent economic slowdown. The situation in Iraq is characterised by economic and social decline and political and security volatility. ?

Iraq hosts more than 250,000 Syrian refugees and 37,000 refugees of other nationalities, mostly Turks, Iranians, and Palestinians. Around 99% of the refugees reside in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, with about one-third living in camps. More than 230,000 host community members have been impacted by this displacement.?

INFORM measures Iraq’s risk of humanitarian crisis and disaster to be very high at 6.6/10. ?

Latest Developments

02/06/2022

No recent significant humanitarian developments. The crisis is being monitored by our analysis team.

Humanitarian Access

07/12/2021

very High constraints

Humanitarian access in Iraq remains challenging, mostly because of political and ethnic tensions and the presence of multiple armed groups and militias that impose movement restrictions and bureaucratic impediments, including the request for different documents. Such issues limit the delivery of aid and access of humanitarian actors to people in need. Military checkpoints, interventions, and administrative restrictions are the main impediments to humanitarian operations, particularly in the areas contested between the central and Iraqi Kurdistan governments in northern Iraq and areas controlled by different local authorities and armed groups.

Insecurity, violence, and the presence of landmines and explosive remnants of war continue to hamper movements, limiting people’s ability to access aid and causing the relocation of humanitarian staff or suspension of their operations, particularly in Baghdad, Iraqi Kurdistan, and southern Iraq.

The lack of civil documentation and the existence of discriminatory policies around accessing documentation remain major protection concerns for displaced people, returnees, and other vulnerable groups, including people suspected to be affiliated with the Islamic State. These difficulties lead to limited access to basic services, humanitarian assistance, internal movements, and livelihood opportunities.

Read more in the latest ACAPS Humanitarian Access Overview.

Information Gaps and Needs

21/11/2021
  • 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.
  • The number of IS fighters currently in Iraq is unknown and more recent estimates are lacking. 

Drought

28/12/2021

In 2021, Iraq faced the second-driest season in 40 years and the third straight year of drought as a result of record low rainfall, high temperatures, and the loss of access to water from the Euphrates and Tigris rivers caused by climate change and excessive use of water sources. At least seven million people are at risk of losing access to water, leading to more dependency on expensive water trucking ?.

The low water levels in the Euphrates and Tigris rivers were induced by drought conditions and excessive upstreaming dam storage by neighbouring countries. This will continue to put a strain on agricultural, livestock, and fish production. It is estimated that over 50% of all crops (including major ones) were lost in 2021 because of the drought. More than 35% of wheat farmers and 30% of barley farmers reported crop failure by at least 90%, and 37% of households engaged in livestock reported losing animals. The drop in agricultural production has already led to an increase in prices and caused a loss of income for Agriculture About half of the households affected by drought are in need of food assistance ?.

The climate and environment insecurity, compounded by security and economic vulnerabilities, has increased social tension over water sources and led to the migration of rural populations to cities, particularly in southern Iraq. Rural communities are suffering from severe environmental degradation and lack of diverse economic opportunities. The situation will further aggravate the socioeconomic, humanitarian, and ecological conditions in Iraq ?