Brussels 4 June 2015 – To urgently address the growing needs in Iraq, the humanitarian community on Thursday launched a revised plan - the 2015 Humanitarian Response Plan for Iraq. The plan will target 5.6 million vulnerable Iraqis with essential, life-saving support over the next six months.

The launch at the European Parliament in Brussels was presided over by Christos Stylianides, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid & Crisis Management and Ms. Lise Grande, the United Nation’s Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq.

Iraq is one of the most volatile and complex humanitarian crisis in the world. Over the last year the number of Iraqis requiring life-saving assistance has quadrupled to more than 8 million people, with 2.9 million forced from their homes since January 2014.

But just as humanitarian assistance is needed most, resources are running out. Less than 40 per cent of funding required for the 2014-15 Iraq humanitarian appeal has been received. Without an immediate injection of new funds humanitarian operations will be cut back or closed down. Frontline health services are already being reduced; water programs scaled back and protection activities halted.

UN-Habitat proposed two projects under the 2015 Humanitarian Response Plan. The first project aims to provide durable collective centres for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Kirkuk Governorate, one of the areas severely affected by the crisis. Through this project, UN-Habitat will support crisis-affected households to rehabilitate and convert unfinished public buildings and warehouses as partitioned shelter with WASH facilities for accommodation; IDP families housed in rehabilitated buildings will be provided tenure security agreement, and vulnerable households such as female-headed households will receive special support to source labour required to rehabilitate buildings.

The second UN-Habitat project in the Humanitarian Response Plan directly addresses housing, land and property tenure security of IDPs. Targeting vulnerable minority groups in crisis-affected areas, the project aims to establish systems to address housing, land and property grievances both legally and administratively.

In addition to those proposed under the Humanitarian Response Plan, UN-Habitat also works on projects and initiatives that address challenges faced by IDPs. These include: designing and establishing sustainable and comprehensive shelter sites that accommodate IDPs in prefabricated shelter units equipped with key facilities such as basic infrastructure, health clinics and schools to prevent emergence of urban slums; and mapping of findings of damage assessments for all sectors in newly liberated areas in central Iraq and developing a plan to support returnees to build a basic secure home, ensuring security, protection, and the rights of those whose houses have been destroyed by the conflict.