Iraq is facing a multifaceted humanitarian crisis due to internal conflict and to refugee influx from Syria. Since January 2012 over 235,000 Syrian refugees have fled to Iraq, the large majority of which settling in host communities and camps in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). The crisis was further aggravated by the new upsurge of violence within Iraq in December 2013, and the spread of the conflict across the north and centre of the country from June 2014. By the end of 2014, the number of internally displaced persons fleeing conflict in Iraq reached an estimated 2 million people, with around half of them into KRI. Present in Iraq since November 2012, REACH has contributed to inform the humanitarian response to both the refugee and IDP crises, conducting household and community-level assessments in over 1900 communities of 12 governorates.

  • REACH was first deployed in Iraq in late 2012 to conduct a profiling exercise of refugee households in KRI and Anbar, in support to UNHCR and other humanitarian actors. Throughout 2013 and 2014 REACH continued informing the refugee response through regular multisector camp and non-camp assessments (such as the Multi-Sector Needs Assessment of Syrian refugees in camps and the Multi-Sector Needs Assessment of Syrian refugees outside camps), and with rapid assessments in the aftermath of the sudden influx of refugees in mid-2013. In addition, thematic assessments were carried out on refugeeslivelihoods sources, intentions and use of mass communications (such as the Mass Communication Assessment in Domiz Camp). REACH has also supported UNHCR’s site planning in Kawergosk, Darashakran, Basirma and Gawilan refugee camps, analyzing topographic features and making recommendations for the set-up of the camps. In Kawergosk, Qushtapa and Basirma camps REACH teams established an addressing system to facilitate camp management, allocating unique letter-number codes to each shelter and creating a database to reference all address system components. REACH also established a street-level addressing system in Domiz and Darashakran camps, naming all major streets and referencing shelters.
  • With regard to the IDP crisis REACH supported humanitarian planning at both the strategic and operational levels. Strategic level information products aimed at informing overall humanitarian indicators and responses: examples include the Multi-Cluster Needs Assessment of IDPs living in non-camp settings, which informed planning for the Immediate Response Plan (IRP2), and cluster-specific assessments such as the joint Shelter and CCCM Cluster Assessment to inform the Humanitarian Needs Overview. REACH also contributed operational level information, with products aimed at directly enhancing the capacity of humanitarian actors to respond to specific needs in specific contexts. For example, REACH regularly updated and disseminated profiles for the 21 IDP camps open in the north of Iraq, and participated in the planning, implementation and analysis of the CCCM Collective Site Assessment, which geo-referenced and identified key needs in around 900 collective non-camp sites across the KRI. REACH has also rolled out its Area of Origin Methodology to gather data on areas of limited access, especially Central Iraq.