16 Oct 2014

Anbar Re-Emerges from the Collective Subconscious

Thursday, 16 October 2014
(3 votes)
It was not long ago when aid agencies, governments and the media were referring to the uncoiling conflict in Iraq as the ‘Anbar crisis’, a term that when now heard may awaken distant memories of events that less than six months ago were the unrivalled focus of international media attention. The falling of Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, to Islamic militants and their later arrival at the doorstep of the northern Kurdish safe-haven, Erbil, grabbed the interest of onlookers all over the world. Anbar faded into the distant subconscious of the international community, which up until very recently has only ever reappeared in the form of sporadic recollections of its existence and forgotten anguish. According to official figures released by…
23 Jul 2014
The takeover by armed militants of Iraq’s second biggest city of Mosul and a string of other cities throughout June and July exceeded even the ‘worst case’ scenarios of international aid agencies and Government authorities to the current crisis. Contingency plans had talked about the potentiality for violence to spread to other areas of Iraq, following the militant occupation of Fallujah and Ramadi and the absence of a political compromise. However few had foreseen that the political void, which continues to exist following the parliamentary elections and failed efforts at forming a new Government, could be pounced upon so rapidly by armed militant groups. Despite this, aid agencies immediately scaled up their operations to respond to the humanitarian needs of…
For months, NGOs and UN agencies operating in different parts of Iraq have been calling upon the international community to refocus attention towards the overwhelming scale of the humanitarian needs that exist inside the country. The Anbar crisis has for more than six months posed an almost unmanageable burden upon the emergency response capacities of aid and relief agencies due to a critical lack in funding that has emanated from a clear down-grading of Iraq from the list of priorities on the international humanitarian agenda. This de-prioritisation must urgently be brought into question as the security crisis in the country has reached a breaking point which, if surpassed, will overwhelm the capability of aid agencies to respond given the burden…
The baffling disappearance of Iraq from the international agenda and critical funding shortages for aid and relief agencies are not the only factors negatively impacting upon the efficiency of the humanitarian response inside the country. Since the outbreak of conflict in Anbar more than five months ago, safe and secure access for aid provision has been a problem, despite persistent efforts made by international NGOs and UN agencies to exert pressure on parties to the conflict to facilitate access for humanitarian workers to deliver assistance to vulnerable populations.In early March, the DRC Country Director, Michael Bates, urged “Iraq’s security forces and armed groups to create a safe passage to allow humanitarian aid to reach civilian populations and ensure the security…
21 Jan 2014
The number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Iraq continues to pose a significant humanitarian challenge for Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Iraqi authorities. An estimated 1.8 million Iraqis were displaced as a result of the 2006-2008 widespread sectarian violence and there have been consistent warning signs over the past year that the country is on the verge of returning to some of its darkest days of internal conflict. With such conflict come new waves of IDPs that join the existing victims of sectarian violence to form one of the most vulnerable populations of people inside Iraq. Between April and December 2013 more than 1000 families were displaced, mainly in Baghdad, Diyala, Ninewa and Basra, due to increased security threats. The…
10 Dec 2013

Female Genital Mutilation in Iraqi Kurdistan

Tuesday, 10 December 2013
(4 votes)
Kurdish society is widely observed as being traditional, conservative and entrenched in customs that are religiously founded or possess ancient cultural heritage. Considering this conformist nature of Kurdish society it is relatively easy to understand why Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has for many years been a topic that is “Taboo” and very difficult to openly discuss, since it related to women and their sexuality. When the Kurdish parliament originally decided to officially address the issue of FGM, debates were delayed on several occasions due to the perceived sensitivity of the topic in Iraqi Kurdistan, especially in rural areas. The topic was originally raised in parliament in 2006 and a law was eventually passed in 2011 that forbade FGM and was…
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