What are the needs?
The security situation in Iraq has drastically deteriorated in 2014, in particular following attacks of armed opposition groups in the central and northern part of the country.
Sectarian violence as well as the general precarious security situation have resulted in displacement and lack of basic protection for the civilian population. The hardship of vulnerable groups has increased, with little access to employment and basic services such as water, sanitation and health-care and education. Since 2003, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have crossed into neighboring countries. By 2014, hundreds of thousands of vulnerable Iraqis are living in dire conditions both within and outside Iraq.
How are we helping?
Since 2007, the EU has provided some €145 million in humanitarian assistance for the Iraqi crisis.
In 2014, following the intensified fighting, the EU has increased its humanitarian funding by €10 million to respond to the urgent needs of those affected by recent attacks by armed opposition groups. This brings the total funding since 2013 to over €41 million, which provides protection and relief to people displaced inside Iraq as well as other vulnerable populations affected by the conflict.
In addition, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism was activated to facilitate and support the rapid deployment of participating states' in-kind assistance and expertise to the region. The Mechanism is coordinated through the Commission's Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC), which monitors the crisis 24 hours a day.
ECHO also allocates aid to refugees in Jordan and Lebanon to cover emergency support to the most vulnerable. Specific support for UNHCR's core mandate of protection is also provided. This is particularly important in identifying the most vulnerable groups and assessing their specific needs.
Humanitarian access in Iraq is a major problem due to heightened security risks. Many areas in Iraq remain inaccessible for international organisations, which hampers the needs assessments and delivery of humanitarian aid to the most vulnerable groups.