PRELIMINARY FINDINGS: HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE GAPS
In preparation for the 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), OCHA Iraq is undertaking an extensive review of the humanitarian response in 2020. The analysis considers various factors to determine operational progress and gaps, including the needs of IDPs and returnees, partner reach, access conditions, and indicators of basic services and social cohesion in areas of origin and areas of secondary displacement.
Some discrepancies between target and reach are evident: during the 2020 response, there were significant gaps between cluster targets and beneficiaries reached in 18 out of the total 36 districts (50 per cent) with a high number of people in acute need. Humanitarian partners reached less than 50 per cent of the targeted in-camp IDPs, out-of-camp IDPs and returnees in these districts.
The multi-sectoral needs assessment (MCNA) carried out in August and September for the 2021 HRP estimates that approximately two million individuals continue to experience humanitarian needs within these 18 districts.
Access challenges are among the factors contributing to inadequate reach in some districts. The access severity monitoring analysis conducted by OCHA in November indicated perceptions of medium to high levels of access challenges in 10 of the 18 districts in Al-Anbar, Baghdad, Diyala, Duhok, Kirkuk, Ninewa and Salah Al-Din governorates. Humanitarian presence is often more limited in such areas, with humanitarian organizations' ratio to the number of individuals with acute needs sometimes significantly less than the national average.
For example, in Al-Falluja district in Al-Anbar and Telafar district in Ninewa the ratio is approximately three times lower than the national average. According to the MCNA for the 2021 HRP, approximately 510,000 individuals with acute humanitarian needs reside in these 10 districts where needs are high, access constraints are significant, and less than 50 per cent of the people targeted for assistance have been reached in 2020.
However, gaps in operational response cannot be attributed solely to access constraints. The analysis highlighted that in the other eight districts with a high number of people in acute need, access constraints are perceived to be low. Nevertheless, the gap between humanitarian targets and beneficiaries reached is still larger than 50 per cent.
To inform and improve operations in 2021, the HCT will conduct a review of operations and constraints in these districts as part of its roll out of the 2021 humanitarian response. This will include an analysis of key stakeholders, humanitarian presence, security, target setting, district and activity prioritization, funding levels, and cluster-specific constraints. (For further details, see also November 2020 Iraq Access Severity Overview.)