In the first half of 2014, militant groups took control of substantial territory across Iraq. The resulting violence and extreme human rights abuses forced almost three million Iraqis to flee their homes.
Over 5.2 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in the country. There are also large-scale protection concerns, including horrific sexual violence against women and children.
In August 2014, a system-wide level 3 (L3) response was activated, linking it to the Syria L3 activation.
The Operational Peer Review (OPR) took place in May 2015 to coincide with the deployment of a new Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator (HC/RC). The OPR team included representatives from Caritas, the International Council for Voluntary Agencies, the International Rescue Committee, UNHCR, and UNICEF. They conducted meetings, workshops and interviews with more than 325 people from the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT), clusters/sectors, humanitarian actors, donors, and national counter-parts.
The team carried out field visits to Dohuk and Sulamayniyah governorates, where they met with front-line humanitarian practitioners and people affected by the crisis.
"There are also large-scale protection concerns, including horrific sexual violence against women and children."
The OPR team recognised that the HC and HCT in Iraq had put in place a good practice approach to prioritise activities in the face of funding and resource constraints. Strong leadership and a collaborative team approach were also evident across the HCT.
Our interview on prioristisation with Lise Grande, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General, Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq:
With the support of the OPR team, the HCT developed an action plan detailing the actions required to strengthen the response, including:
"Within the most challenging issues of Iraq response, the OPR identified a need for emphasis on the ‘centrality of protection’ as well as for an overall accountability framework."