Press Releases & Statements

Statement by UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem

New York, 27 March 2020 - With each passing day, the scale of the COVID-19 crisis and its consequences are becoming ever more apparent and alarming.

Baghdad, 29 March 2020 - The Government of Japan contributed US$ 1.3 million towards UNFPA interventions for integrated lifesaving reproductive health and gender-based violence services to vulnerable women and girls in five governorates across Iraq.

Baghdad, 26 March 2020 - It is difficult to overstate the magnitude of the challenges facing Iraq at the moment. Political, security, social and economic crises have been compounded by the global COVID-19 pandemic which has not spared Iraq.

25 March 2020 BAGHDAD – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed a contribution of US$4 million from the Government of Japan to provide food assistance for eight months to 26,000 vulnerable internally displaced people (IDPs) in camps in Iraq.

Erbil — Anbar, in western Iraq, is the country’s largest governorate by area. In early 2014, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) seized control of Anbar from the Iraqi Government; nearly half a million people fled the ISIL advance between January and May 2014. A second wave of displacement took place in 2016 when the military campaign to expel ISIL reached the area.



As of February 2020, over 1.4 million people have returned to Anbar. However, tensions exist between those who fled during ISIL’s initial advance and those who remained, many of whom would become displaced later on during military campaign to retake areas under ISIL control. Many families in the group that remained are often perceived to have affiliations with ISIL, regardless of any actual affiliation or sympathies with ISIL.
A new study by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Iraq analyses the responses of six communities in Falluja district of Anbar governorate to the return of displaced community members with perceived affiliation. The communities — Saqlawiya Center, Albu Shejeel, Al Abba, Karma Center, Al Husi, and Fhelat — were directly affected by the ISIL conflict.
“There is still a sense in certain communities that those who remained in Anbar under ISIL, or have family or tribal ties to perceived affiliates, are ISIL sympathizers,” explained IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Gerard Waite. “When some of these individuals were displaced, and later attempted to go home, they were displaced again when their communities of origin rejected them for this perceived affiliation.”
Internally displaced persons (IDPs) who are rejected by their communities are unable to return and therefore risk remaining exiled from their communities or displaced for extended periods. Social acceptance of those who remained living under ISIL occupation is critical to prevent further grievances and new cycles of conflict; however, this cannot be achieved without acknowledging the perspective of victims.
The research investigates three key areas: the factors that contribute to high or low levels of acceptance of IDPs with perceived affiliation; mechanisms put in place by communities to manage return of IDPs with perceived affiliation; and obstacles limiting the sustainable return of IDPs with perceived affiliation. The research forms part of IOM’s broader work supporting durable solutions to internal displacement in Iraq.

For more information please contact IOM Iraq’s Public Information Unit, Tel: +964 751 402 2811, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Our world faces a common enemy: COVID-19.

Monday, 23 March 2020 18:45

Clarification to the media and partners

WHO/Iraq, on 23 March 2020: The World Health Organization (WHO) would like to clarify that a number of people have been talking to the media and disseminating information to the public under the guise of working for the World Health Organization (WHO), or being WHO consultants.

Baghdad, 22 March 2020 I have just finished my meeting with the Minister of Health, in the presence of the World Health Organization Representative in Iraq, Dr. Adham, and their teams.

Baghdad, 22 March 2020 - The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert joined the Iraqi Ministry of Health today in calling on Iraqis across the country to follow the instructions and advice from health, religious, civilian and security authorities to practice social distancing and strict hygiene in order to protect their families and communities from the spread of the Coronavirus.

Baghdad, 20 March 2020 - Nowruz, traditionally a time of renewal and a celebration of history and identity for Kurds and many other people around the world, comes at a particularly challenging time this year.

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