GPC Operations Cell: gpc[at]unhcr.org
Gender-Based Violence: chase[at]unfpa.org
Child Protection: rpouwels[at]unicef.org
Housing, Land and Property: jim.robinson[at]nrc.no
Mine Action: unmasgeneva[at]un.org
In 2014, Iraq faced a major humanitarian crisis due to the conflict between government forces and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The fighting displaced millions of people from their homes, with an estimated three million civilians forced to flee the violence in northern and western Iraq. The international humanitarian system launched operations in support of the government's efforts to meet the humanitarian needs resulting from Da’esh and the displacement its violence provoked. It was a time of unprecedented crisis for the people and government in Iraq, which called for global support and solidarity. Between 2014 to 2022, nearly seven million Iraqi citizens, across nine governorates, in dozens of IDP camps and in thousands of other locations in multiple conflict-affected governorates were provided with life-saving assistance. International donors provided an estimated eight billion USD towards this emergency effort.
In Iraq’s post-conflict context, missing civil documentation continued to impede people’s ability to access basic services such as education, healthcare and social security benefits, and can lead to restricted freedom of movement, increased risk of arrest and detention, exclusion from restitution and/or reconstruction programmes, and an inability to participate in public affairs in the country. The Protection Cluster has worked extensively on addressing barriers to accessing civil documentation for conflict-affected communities over the past years. Protection interventions included legal assistance, case management, cash for protection, training and capacity building for protection service providers, enhancement of community-based protection mechanisms and protection monitoring, with particular attention to violence against children and women.
The Protection Cluster in Iraq was activated in 2014 to ensure the coordination of protection interventions in emergencies and to respond to the protection needs of persons affected by conflict and disasters. It was composed of the Gender-Based Violence, Child Protection, Mine Action and Housing, Land, and Property Areas of Responsibility. The Protection Cluster was led by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The IASC deactivated clusters in Iraq at the HC/HCT’s request in December 2022.
As of 2023, a Protection Platform, consisting of 75 protection partners, including 31 NGOs, 5 INGOs, 4 UN agencies and 5 others, will continue strengthening collaboration with development partners and related coordination mechanisms, including the Durable Solutions Technical Working Group. It will also seek to provide a common analysis of protection issues, as well as focus on the responsiveness of community-based protection mechanisms.