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Iraq: Humanitarian Bulletin, January 2020

Countries
Iraq
+ 2 more
Sources
OCHA
Publication date
Origin
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HIGHLIGHTS

• Health Services close in KRI

• Access letter for NGOs not being authorized

• IDP education gaps

• Cluster review HPC process

FIGURES

#people in need 4.1m

#people targeted for assistance 1.77m

#of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in camps targeted for assistance 0.19m

#of IDPs outside camps targeted for assistance 0.42m

# of IDP returnees targeted for assistance 1.18m

FUNDING

520 million requested (US$)

10% funded (as of 29 January 2020)

Iran-U.S. Tensions Deepen the Political Crisis

Widespread demonstrations against the Government of Iraq continued into their fourth month during January. Tensions within the country escalated dramatically on 31 December when thousands of supporters of militia groups reportedly affiliated with Iran (a group considered separate from those protesting the Government of Iraq in Tahrir Square) were able to pass through Iraqi military checkpoints in the Green Zone and establish a base of operations outside the United States Embassy in Baghdad. Between 31 December and 1 January, demonstrators drew graffiti on the outer security perimeter of the embassy, threw Molotov cocktails over the walls, and attempted to storm the compound. The demonstration had largely dissipated by the morning of 2 January. United Nations staff were on lockdown during this period, and all movement in and out of the compound was prohibited.

In the early morning hours of 3 January, the United States military used an airstrike to kill General Qassem Soleimani, a senior figure in the Iranian military, who had just landed at Baghdad International Airport. Also killed was Abu Al-Muhandis, the Deputy Chairman of the body that oversees the Popular Mobilization Forces (largely Shia-militias in Iraq that date from the fight against ISIL), who was in General Soleimani’s vehicle. On 8 January, missiles were fired at two air bases in Al-Anbar and Erbil governorates known to host American troops. Iran later claimed responsibility for the attacks. Security measures were imposed by the UN and NGOs to limit the number of international staff entering the country during this period, which impacted the ability of humanitarian agencies to carry out programming. Staffing had returned to normal levels by the end of January.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs: To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.