Short notes

Iraq: Displacement from West Mosul
Created: 22/03/2017 +


As of 16 March 2017, Iraq’s humanitarian coordinator has warned that the pace of displacement during the first weeks of the west Mosul operation is higher than expected, and response capacity will be exhausted if new arrivals continue to increase. On 19 February an offensive towards the western part of Mosul was launched, and on 21 February new arrivals were outpacing returns for the first time in six weeks. Since then camp capacity has been repeatedly reported as severely restricted. 

Briefing notes

Iraq: Floods in Ninewa and Salah al-Din
Created: 07/12/2018 +


Torrential rainfall on 22 and 23 November caused severe flooding across Iraq. Ninewa and Salah al-Din are the most affected governorates with bridges and roads damaged and villages inundated with water. In total, at least 22,000 people in Ninewa governorate and 10,000 people in Salah al-Din governorate are affected, including people still displaced from conflict. Thousands of civilians are newly displaced due to the floods. Displaced households need urgent shelter assistance. NFIs, WASH, food security and livelihoods, education and health assistance are also needed. The government is responding and international aid actors are present in the country.

Iraq: Displacement from Mosul and Tal-Afar
Created: 09/06/2017 +


Since the beginning of the operation to recapture Mosul from IS on 17 October 2016, over 806,200 people have been displaced from Mosul as of 4 June. Of these, a total of 630,040 people have fled west Mosul since the start of the operation there on 19 February. From 6 to 7 June, over 25,000 people fled Mosul and surrounding districts. 

Approximately 118,000 people are estimated to be trapped in the Old City area and the neighbourhoods immediately north of the Old City as of 4 June. Civilian casualties have been on the rise, since ISF launched an offensive from the northwest of Mosul on 4 May. From 26 May to 8 June, over 231 deaths of civilians attempting to flee west Mosul have been recorded. Food, WASH, and health needs of IDPs and civilians still in west Mosul and IS-held areas are high. 

In Syria, opposition forces have launched an offensive to take over IS' stronghold ar Raqqa. For more on the ar Raqqa situation, see the ACAPS briefing note Displacement from ar Raqqa

Humanitarian Implications of Violence in Northern and Central Iraq
Created: 05/04/2016 +


In the north of Iraq, Kurdish Peshmerga forces, assisted by Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), US airstrikes, and other armed groups have continued their counteroffensive against IS in Ninewa, Kirkuk, Salah al Din, and Diyala, retaking some key areas. The fighting however continues to fuel displacement. Due to improved data collection, estimates of the displacement caused by IS’s advances in early August have risen to more than 620,000 people. 

Thematic reports

Humanitarian Access Overview
Created: 02/05/2019 +


We looked into nine indicators to rank and compare the humanitarian access levels worldwide. Affected populations in more than 50 countries are not getting proper humanitarian assistance due to access constraints. Humanitarian access has deteriorated in Colombia, Iraq, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Somalia over the past six months. 13 new countries entered the ranking since the latest ACAPS Humanitarian Access report released in August 2018. Physical constraints and restriction/obstruction of access to services and assistance are the most common challenges.

Humanitarian Overview: an analysis of key crises into 2018
Created: 30/11/2017 +


Humanitarian Overview 2018 examines major humanitarian crises worldwide to identify likely developments and corresponding needs. The report focuses on countries where the crisis trend indicates a deterioration in 2018 and a corresponding increase in need. It also includes countries where crisis is not predicted to worsen, but is likely to remain severe: Ethiopia, Iraq, Nigeria, Palestine, Sudan, and Syria. Across these countries, food security, displacement, health, and protection are expected
to be the most pressing humanitarian needs in 2018. 

Crisis Overview 2016: Humanitarian Trends and Risks for 2017
Created: 01/12/2016 +


The Crisis Overview 2016: Humanitarian Trends and Risks for 2017, outlines the countries where needs are greatest, and growing, as we approach the end of 2016.

Based on our weekly Global Emergency Overview (GEO), and four years of data on humanitarian needs across 150 countries, we have identified ten countries where humanitarian needs are likely to be highest in 2017, as well as four that merit attention, as they face a potential spike in needs. We also consider the humanitarian situation in the northern triangle region of Latin America, where the wide-ranging humanitarian impact of pervasive gang violence is chronically underreported.

Iraq: Displacement in KR-I
Created: 24/08/2016 +


Some 250,000 Syrian refugees are registered in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR-I), most having fled armed conflict in Syria in 2012 and 2014. 90% are Syrian Kurds. In 2014 and 2015, Iraqi IDPs fleeing Islamic State (IS) increased the population of KR-I by more than 30% in just two years. As of early August, KR-I hosts 955,200 IDPs, 28% of the total displaced in Iraq. 

Crisis Overview 2015: Humanitarian Trends and Risks for 2016
Created: 22/04/2016 +


The Crisis Overview 2015: Humanitarian Trends and Risks for 2016, outlines the countries considered to be in greatest humanitarian need as we approach the end of 2015.

Based on our weekly Global Emergency Overview (GEO), and three years of data on humanitarian needs across 150 countries, we have identified eleven countries where humanitarian needs are likely to be highest in 2016, as well as seven that merit attention, as they face a potential spike in needs. A final section considers the potential impact of the current El Niño event across a number of regions.



Funding Tracking Analysis: IDP Response in Iraq June to September 2014
Created: 18/04/2016 +


11 organisations provided information on 70 projects between June and September 2014, amounting to USD 51 million. The participating agencies reported on funding from 23 institutional donors. All together, the projects targeted around 1.7 million direct beneficiaries, though this will include significant double counting, as the same beneficiaries may receive aid from different organizations, related to different needs.

Explosive Remnants of War and Landmines
Created: 15/04/2016 +


While the physical and humanitarian impacts of explosive weapons, such as mortars, missiles, barrel bombs and IEDs, have been highly visible and documented throughout the conflict in Syria, the unex-ploded remnants of these weapons and landmines have received limited attention but will have long-term implications. In the immediate term, people are killed and maimed, with children making up nearly half of the victims globally. Furthermore, survivors require specialised services that are not available or accessible within Syrian’s public health system, which has been brought to near collapse. Even decades after a conflict has ended, the presence of ERW will negatively affect people’s ability to move freely, return and rebuild their homes, resume their livelihoods and begin to recover. The intensive use of explosive munitions on high-density urban areas and information limi-tations throughout the conflict means that it will take decades of rigor-ous clearance efforts, as ERW are buried among rubble and debris. Beirut and Sarajevo experienced similar ERW contamination in urban areas; the latter city required 8-9 years of clearance efforts, although explosive weapons were used at relatively lower levels compared to Syrian cities. Over time, ERW and landmines will also migrate due to flooding or erosion, particularly in soft, sandy soil, thereby further spreading the contamination risk.

Syrian Border Crossings
Created: 14/04/2016 +


The border policies of Syria’s neighbouring countries have fluctuated regularly due to the security situation, political developments and the increasing number of refugees. This has caused uncertainty among those try-ing to flee and international responders. Some people try-ing to leave have been trapped inside Syria due to border restrictions, and at the border with Turkey this has led to the establishment of several IDP camps.

Given the various restrictions imposed by the governments of neighbouring countries, irregular and unregulated move-ment of refugees across borders is reported to be wide-spread. The legal status and rights of individuals exiting Syria may be compromised when they enter a country via an unofficial crossing.

Movements across borders also involve the smuggling of goods (food, fuel, medicines etc.), weapons and the move-ment of armed personnel.

Widespread information gaps persist in relation to border areas. The limited access of humanitarian organisations to border areas and scarcity of information hampers under-standing of the situation on the ground and the scale of population movements. The proliferation of armed groups in Syria and the fluid nature of territorial control lead to fur-ther ambiguity of the situation and challenges for move-ment of population into safer areas.

Some border crossing points are in remote, hard to reach and insecure areas making it more difficult for those forced to flee by foot to reach a host country.

Legal Status of Individuals Fleeing Syria
Created: 14/04/2016 +


By June 2013, over 1.6 million people fled Syria in search of protection and access to essential services. Their legal status is primarily governed by the laws of the host country where they reside. The legal framework applicable to asylum seekers and refugees differs significantly between countries and different laws apply to different groups of people. In Lebanon for instance, the situation varies significantly between Syrians and Palestinian Refugees from Syria (PRS). As a result of this complexity, individuals fleeing Syria are often unaware of their rights and obligations.

Overall, the people fleeing Syria can be divided into 3 different groups, depending on their status in the host-country:

  • Those residing in camps;
  • Those who have the appropriate papers and are therefore regularly residing in a country; and
  • Those who are irregular, meaning residing in a host country without the required documents.

While these 3 groups are not mutually exclusive, the level of access to services and protection differs between the different groups.