New Humanitarian Assistance for Iraq

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
April 8, 2016


Today, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the United States is providing nearly $155 million in additional humanitarian assistance to displaced and conflict-affected Iraqis within Iraq and throughout the region who are in urgent need of support. This new funding brings total U.S. humanitarian assistance for the Iraq humanitarian response to more than $778 million since the start of Fiscal Year 2014.

Since January 2014, more than 3.4 million Iraqis have been displaced. Out of a total population of 33 million, the UN estimates that 10 million people across the country are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, including an estimated three million living in ISIL-held territory. More than one million school-aged Iraqi children, or 20 percent nationwide, are out of school.

U.S. humanitarian assistance, provided from the Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration through the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and other implementing partners, will help to provide for the urgent needs of millions of vulnerable individuals. Through UNHCR, and a number of international organizations and non-governmental organizations, this contribution will help offer shelter, protection, core relief items, camp coordination and management assistance; it will also provide much-needed water and sanitation, health care, and other vital food and non-food items. In addition to assisting conflict-affected Iraqis within Iraq, UNHCR also assists Iraqi refugees living in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Syria.

This funding also will support UNICEF’s goal to increase access to safe learning spaces, quality education, and sustained psychosocial support for the most vulnerable children, and to help meet UNICEF’s targets of providing 550,000 displaced children with learning materials, assisting 22,330 displaced children with access to learning, and training 5,000 teachers.

Through other implementing partners, this contribution will support expanded child protection efforts in Baghdad, Diyala, Dohuk, Erbil, Kerbala, Kirkuk, Najaf, and Babil governorates which are estimated to reach more than 40,000 beneficiaries. This expansion will include additional protection monitoring focused on child protection issues and needs, and the establishment of three child friendly spaces offering psychosocial activities, protection monitoring, referrals, case management, and capacity building.

Through USAID's Office of Food for Peace, the United States will provide assistance that will enable the World Food Program (WFP) to locally and regionally procure food and provide voucher assistance to internally displaced people within Iraq. This contribution will allow WFP to provide family food rations for 1 million beneficiaries for 2½ months and food vouchers for 370,000 beneficiaries for one month. This contribution also provides WFP with 589 metric tons of immediate response rations for as many as 140,000 beneficiaries per month for three months. These immediate response rations are provided to newly displaced persons during their first 72 hours of displacement, as well as those households reached through the Rapid Response Mechanism in hard-to-reach areas of Iraq.

Through USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, the United States will support countrywide programs providing health, protection, and relief commodities for displaced populations, as well as humanitarian coordination. By working with UN and international partners, this contribution will provide immediate, life-saving supplies to families on the move as they flee conflict, reproductive health and newborn care services to camp and non-camp populations, services for survivors of gender-based violence, and investments in the coordination of humanitarian assistance to provide better programming and efficiency.

This contribution also includes assistance for early warning and preparedness activities for people at risk of severe flooding from a potential failure of the Mosul Dam. This includes preparedness and awareness activities for populations at risk of being affected by a potential breach, as well as strengthening and development of nationwide alert systems.

The United States urges all nations to contribute robustly to United Nations humanitarian appeals for Iraq. Despite continuing support from the United States, more needs to be done, and the international community’s help is urgently needed.

For further information, please contact the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration at PRMPress@state.gov or visit PRM’s website, or contact USAID at USAIDPressOfficers@usaid.gov or visit USAID’s website.