Current UN humanitarian operations in IraqThis is a brief overview of some of the operations that the United Nations has carried out in Iraq since the last humanitarian appeal in March 2003. It should be read in conjunction with the accompanying background note about the 23 June meeting being convened by the United Nations. Since the end of the conflict, WFP has dispatched a total of 800,000MT of food into Iraq, an average of 25,000MT per day. A sophisticated logistics infrastructure using five main corridors into Iraq has been successfully established. By 4 June, 2.7 million people received their June rations.
The UN has assisted in re-launching the Iraqi public food distribution system that distributes food to about 44,000 agents and provides food for approximately 27 million people, of which 16 million are fully dependent on the UN food supplies for their survival.
A daily average of 3.5 million litres of water is tankered by UNICEF and its partners. The water is distributed to impoverished areas, hospitals, health centres and communities. Provision of chlorine gas and other essential chemicals continues.
Daily provision of 120,000 litres fuel to 231 portable water and sewage pumping stations is on-going.
UNDP has finished repairs on parts of the water network in Baghdad. Rehabilitation of 51 key sewage-pumping stations and water treatment plants is progressing, as is support to main food storage facilities and hospitals. In the water sector, capacity is now back to pre-conflict levels in both Baghdad and Basrah, although leaking continues.
The Mine Action Coordination Team has re-established the mine action programme in northern Iraq, where it has marked over one million square metres and has recovered almost 700 pieces of unexploded ordnances and destroyed 150 cluster bombs. It has also initiated mine action activities such as clearance, survey and mine risk education in southern Iraq. A country-wide emergency assessment will establish the scope of the mine and UXO threat in Iraq.
WHO and partners have made in-depth assessments of all Baghdad’s 35 hospitals and maternity health services, providing emergency repairs and assistance in procurement, training and distribution of essential medicine and drugs, including obstetrics kits.
2,100 MT of high protein biscuits and 300 MT of therapeutic milk has been delivered to hospitals and health centres in a response on nutrition strengthening, likewise documents on health education have been distributed to hospitals, health centres and mosques to enhance community awareness.
UNFPA has delivered emergency reproductive health supplies and essential medicine to health facilities in 15 Iraqi governorates.
Supported by WHO, the national drug distribution system has re-started, now reaching all governorates. Essential supplies have been delivered by WHO and UNICEF, including vaccines for an imminent national “catch-up” immunization programme for the country’s 4.2 million children under the age of five against preventable diseases such as polio, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, measles and tuberculosis.
The cholera outbreak in the south was successfully contained.
In Basrah, UNICEF and the Ministry of Education have created an education programme for girls. Curricula revision and teacher training is ongoing, as is repair of schools. UNESCO, UNICEF and partners are assisting the reprint and revision of 5 million textbooks. UNICEF is sponsoring 1,200 school kits to benefit 96,000 children.
UNHCR, UNOPS, UN HABITAT and IOM are monitoring and assisting third country nationals and asylum-seekers. Basic relief assistance has been provided to Palestinian refugees recently evicted from their homes in Baghdad. Assistance capacities are being restored for Iranian refugees of Arab ethnicity in settlements in southern regions bordering Iran. Currently, management, security and basic services are being restored in the Al Tash and Makmur refugee camps, which together host some 22,000 refugees.
UNHCR and its partners are interviewing and registering more than 2,500 homebound Iraqi refugees, living in refugee camps in the neighbouring countries, advising them on conditions in areas of return.
UN agencies have visited IDP camps and shelters in Mosul, Kirkuk, Erbil, Suleymaniyev in the North and Basrah in the South. Emergency assistance and support is being provided. UN-HABITAT is implementing shelter sector activities.
Rapid assessment have been made of housing, public buildings, infrastructure, water and sanitation and solid waste management, in Basra, Mosul, Kerbala, Nasiriyah, Aummara, Baghdad and Samawa. UNICEF has unblocked the sewage drains in Baghdad, Karada, Al-Rasheed, Al-Obaidi, and Al-Huriya.
Repair has finished on 6 overhead transmissions lines in Kirkuk and Mosul, parts of Beiji Thermal Power Plant and UNDP has secured the electricity supply for food storage facilities and hospitals in Basrah. Transmission lines in Iraq continue to receive repair.
UNDP reports that more than 1,000 labourers in Mosul, Baghdad, Erbil and Basrah have been employed in sanitary operations cleaning up at hospitals, water and sanitation facilities, schools and other public areas that have been overrun by garbage and rubble.
UNDP is engaged in the dredging activities in the port of Umm Qasr. The dredging will enable 50,000 tonne vessels to off load at the port. The project includes the removal of 19 shipwrecks.
WFP and UNICEF have provided food and other essential items to four orphanages and institutions for disabled children in Baghdad to assist the recovery of malnourishment.
FAO has completed assessments for a number of projects: for veterinary services and cold chain facilities in central and southern Iraq; the poultry sector; pest infestation of date palm; farmers’ needs for mechanization and small irrigation equipment and the agricultural sector in Mosul and Kirkuk.
UNESCO is assisting in the creation of an inventory of artifacts looted from Baghdad Museum.
ILO is assessing the needs of the job market in post-conflict Iraq.
In the field of Human Rights UNOHCI has successfully developed a protection policy framework. UN human rights advisors are coordinating the information flow on protection issues, prioritizing needs, develop and implement comprehensive and coordinated field driven strategies on interventions.
UNIFEM is providing catalytic support to all stakeholders to build more gender-sensitive programme approaches in Iraq, ensuring the appropriate involvement of women in mainstream development activities.
UNEP is ensuring environmentally sensitive planning of reconstruction efforts.