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29 May 2014

UNAMI - DSRSG Badcock updates donor country representatives on UN assistance to Anbar

Dr. Jacqueline Carol Badcock, Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq (DSRSG) and Resident Coordinator (RC), Humanitarian Coordinator (HC) today updated donor country representatives on UN assistance to those affected by the ongoing conflict in Anbar. As of 21st of May the number of internally displaced families has reached 72.325.
DSRSG Badcock highlighted the important work the UN and its non-government partners are doing to meet life savings and critical needs of those displaced.  This included providing emergency shelter, food, basic household items, water and sanitation, education, logistics support and medical supplies.  The UN is also assisting with registering the displaced, providing protection to the particularly vulnerable such as women and children, and facilitating access to legal services and psycho-social counselling.  

In March, the UN in conjunction with the Government of Iraq launched a Strategic Response Plan and appealed for funding for USD$106 million to meet the costs of 22 projects that will assist over 40,000 families or 240,000 individuals.

Dr. Badcock noted that over the last 4 months the UN and its partners have reached tens of thousands of people in Anbar and in surrounding governorates, however the humanitarian community is facing many challenges: “Safe and secure access for aid provision has been a problem, particularly in Fallujah and Ramadi, despite calls by international NGOs and UN agencies on all parties to the conflict to facilitate access for humanitarian workers”, she told the audience.  

Dr. Badcock warned that “resources are rapidly diminishing as the Strategic Response Plan is just 10% funded. Humanitarian operations will be forced to stop if funding does not come soon”.  She underlined that the current situation is likely to be protracted requiring the ongoing and close collaboration between the Government, the UN and non-government organizations.  “The needs are immense and we have to provide assistance for some time to come whether it is for life saving support or to assist families to recover and reestablish their lives”, Dr. Badcock noted, as the scale of the crisis continues to increase with conflict spreading to other governorates, in addition to the large scale displacement caused by the intentional flooding of Abu Ghraib.

Dr. Badcock commended the Government of Iraq’s stated commitments to assist the displaced by allocating 87 Billion Iraqi Dinars to respond to their immediate needs and return of IDPs and the 1 Billion US Dollars for the rehabilitation of private and public properties. She invited the Government to channel some of this funding through UN agencies and to draw upon their expertise and impartiality in humanitarian responses.

The DSRSG also reported that international and national non-governmental organizations (NGOs), despite scarcity of resources and funding, have continued to ensure the timely and efficient provision of humanitarian assistance to the IDPs. Mr Hashim Assaf, Executive Director of the NGO Coordination Committee for Iraq (NCCI) said: “there are twice as many Anbar IDPs as Syrian refugees in Iraq, yet they receive less than half of the media and donor attention that goes to their Syrian neighbors”.
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