Humanitarian Situation

  • Iraq Weekly Status Report

    A valuable, if slanted, compilation of quantitative data, produced weekly by the US State Department. Grouped into the categories of security, democratisation, service provision, economy, law, international engagement, and strategic communications.

  • Red Cross Report: 'Iraq: civilians without protection' (11 Apr 2007)

    Report released by International Committee of the Red Cross on 11 April 2007, reporting that the humanitarian situation in Iraq continues to deteriorate: "The suffering that Iraqi men, women and children are enduring today is unbearable and unacceptable. Their lives and dignity are continuously under threat."

    The report covers (although with little detail):

    • worsening provision of electricity, sewage, healthcare
    • reports of growing malnutrition levels, and food shortages in some areas
    • a 'water crisis', with inadequate quality and quantity of drinking water, despite some imporvements in the south
    • family separation due to the high levels of detention by the Iraqi government, and large internal displacement.

    Also details emergency humanitarian assistance supplied by the Red Cross/Red Crescent in Iraq.

  • Iraq: Humanitarian Crisis - Post War Rehabilitation (03 Nov 2006)

    Red Cross/Crescent report on the situation in Iraq

  • The Quarterly Report on “Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq:” Fact, Fallacy, and an Overall Grade of "F" (05 June 2006)

    Anthony Cordesman, grand old man of security studies at the US Center for Strategic and International Studies, issues an unprecedented counter-report on the US Department of Defense's Quarterly Report to Congress on stability and security in Iraq.

    Cordesman argues that the US administration's reporting "does more than simply spin the situation to provide false assurances. It makes basic analytical and statistical mistakes, fails to define key terms, provides undefined and unverifiable survey information, and deals with key issues by omission.

    • It provides a fundamentally false picture of the political situation in Iraq, and of the difficulties ahead....

    • The economic analysis is flawed to the point of absurdity.

    • No meaningful assessment is provided of the success and failures of the US aid effort, and no mention is made of the corruption and mismanagement in the aid effort.

    • There is no meaningful analysis of oil developments, budget and revenue problems, and future needs for aid.

    • The threat analysis is fundamentally flawed, serious understates the level of civil conflict, and fails to provide a meaningful risk assessment.

    • Very real progress in the development of Iraq regular forces is exaggerated and the need for major continued support and aid is largely omitted.

    • The basic problems in the police, justice system, and governance that represented a major threat and risk are omitted to the point where the analysis is so distorted as to be useless."

  • Iraq Emergency Situation: Trends in violence, Humanitarian Needs, preparedness (02 May 2006)

    Report produced by the NGO Cordination Committee in Iraq, supported by Oxfam, on the humanitarian situation in Iraq

  • Development Gateway: Relief and Reconstruction in Iraq

    An excellent collection of links and documents, including "Iraq's Constitutional Process: Shaping a Vision for the Country's Future"; "Gender and Constitution-Building: From Paper to Practice"; and "The Iraqi Constitution from an Economic Perspective"

  • Monthly Humanitarian Updates on Iraq since April 2005
  • UN monthly humanitarian updates

    Brief monthly summaries of humanitarian work conducted by the UN agencies operating in Iraq.

  • Health
    • Iraq Health Situation (Oct 2006)

      Links to various articles and reports detailing the health situation in Iraq - prepared by the NGO Coordination Committee in Iraq.

    • Healing Minds: Mental Health Programme of Iraq (March 2006)

      Report on the progress of mental health projects in Iraq produced jointly by the Iraqi Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation.

    • Iraq Health Update (March 2006)

      Update on the health situation in Iraq provided by Medact

    • Medact 'Iraq Health Update' (26 July 2005)

      Summary of health-related and general developments.

    • Medact 'Enduring effects of war' – health in Iraq 2004 (30 Nov 2004)

      'This evidence-based report analyzes, from a public health perspective, the impact of the 2003 war in Iraq on health, the health system, and relief and reconstruction. Health is harmed by conflict-related damage to health-sustaining infrastructure and to the health system, as well as the corrosive effects of conflict-related factors such as poverty, unemployment, disrupted education and low morale. The effects of the war must be measured not only by death and injuries due to weaponry, but by the longer-term, enduring suffering.'

    • RAND Report: Nation Building Hampered by Failure to Address Health Problems

      The United States missed opportunities to help win the support of the public in Iraq and Afghanistan by failing to make health a bigger focus of reconstruction efforts after U.S.-led invasions of the nations, according to a RAND Corporation report titled "Securing Health: Lessons from Nation-Building Missions".

  • Mortality Estimates

    Information about mortality and excess death estimates in post-invasion Iraq.

    A separate section of the site is now dedicated to estimates of mortality in post-war Iraq.

    • Violence-Related Mortality in Iraq from 2002 to 2006 (09 Jan 2008)

      This report estimates that there were 151,000 violent deaths in Iraq between March 2003 and June 2006. This is based on a survey of 9345 households (substantially more than were surveyed in the Lancet studies), conducted by Iraqi government ministries and the WHO in 2006-7. The 95% uncertainty range is 104,000 to 223,000 deaths.

    • Iraq Weekly Status Report

      A valuable, if slanted, compilation of quantitative data, produced weekly by the US State Department. Grouped into the categories of security, democratisation, service provision, economy, law, international engagement, and strategic communications.

    • 2006 Lancet Report (11 Oct 2006)

      The war in Iraq has led to some 655,000 excess deaths, according to a survey of 1849 households, organised by researchers from John Hopkins University. 600,000 of these deaths were caused by violence. Mortality rates have steadily increased since 2003.

    • "How Many Iraqis Have Died Since the US Invasion in 2003?" (09 Jan 2006)

      Article by Andrew Cockburn in Counterpunch.

      "President Bush's off-hand summation last month of the number of Iraqis who have so far died as a result of our invasion and occupation as "30,000, more or less" was quite certainly an under-estimate. The true number is probably hitting around 180,000 by now, with a possibility, as we shall see, that it has reached as high as half a million."

      "...Sprey calculates that deaths inflicted to date as a direct result of the Anglo-American invasion and occupation of Iraq could be, at best estimate, 183,000, with an upper 95 per cent confidence boundary of 511,000."

    • Call for an investigation into Iraqi war-related casualties (11 March 2005)

      Statement calling for an investigation into Iraqi war-related casualties, signed by 24 public health experts in the UK, US, Australia, Canada, Spain and Italy

    • Iraq coalition casualty count

      Detailed and easily-accessible data on non-Iraqi casualties in Iraq. Also includes some (incomplete) information on deaths among Iraqi security forces

    • 2004 Lancet Report (29 Oct 2004) (29 Oct 2004)

      In 2004, UK medical journal The Lancet published an article entitles 'Mortality before and after the 2003 invasion of Iraq'. Whereas previous studies of mortality in Iraq had relied on press reports or indirect data, this relied on its own survey and statistical analysis. The conclusions included this statement:

      "Making conservative assumptions, we think that about 100 000 excess deaths, or more have happened since the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Violence accounted for most of the excess deaths and air strikes from coalition forces accounted for most violent deaths."

    • Counting the Cost

      US project to publicise the human cost of the war.

      • Iraq Body Count

        Database of media-reported civilian deaths in Iraq resulting directly from the invasion of Iraq by the US and its allies.

        • Iraq Mortality

          Website providing information on mortality in Iraq, and campaigning for greater recognition of the human cost of the war.

          • Analysis of mortality studies (14 Oct 2005)

            Activist Milan Rai summarises three major sources of information on mortality in Iraq: Iraq Body Count, the 2004 John Hopkins study published in the Lancet, and the UNDP Report, based on the Iraqi Living Conditions Survey.

      • Nutrition
        • Food and Agriculture Organisation
          • FAO/WFP crop, food supply and nutrition assessment mission to Iraq - special report (23 Sept 2004)

            Report based on data collected in June and July 2003, in all 18 governorates of Iraq. Finds that the war had a limited impact on winter cereal crops, but affected summer cereal crops, cash crops, and fertilizer production. 60% of Iraqis are unemployed, and thus mostly dependent on the Public Distribution System (PDS), which provides insufficient nutritional variety. Considers that although 'any significant disruption of the PDS would have a severe negative impact on food access', changes will be needed, including better targetting of subsidised food.

        • World Food Programme

          The UN's World Food programme has been invovled in food distribution in Iraq since 1991. Following the 2003 invasion, it instigated an emergency food programme, and since July 2004 has concentrated on providing targetted fooood aid to children, pregnant or lactating mothers, and the sick in vulnerable areas. The WFP was active in food distribution under the Oil for Food programme from 1996, and continues to be involved in its successor, the Public Distribution System.

          Information on these pages includes Emergency reports (which are issued weekly, but do not always contain information on Iraq), and occasional press releases.

      • Poverty
        • New GoI/IMF/UNDP poverty study: 1 in 5 now live in poverty

          Reports on a study by the Iraqi Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, in conjunction with the IMF and UNDP.

          It finds that the number of Iraqis living below the poverty line has increased since the fall of the regime of Saddam Hussein in 2003. 1 in 5 now live in poverty.

          "Some two million Iraqi families live under the poverty line, as defined by international criteria, which is fixed at one dollar per day per person."

          "'The number of people requiring social assistance by our minister is dwarfed by the large number of people in need...actually only 171,000 famillies across the entire country receive social assistance,' compared to the two million needing it.

          "This paltry amount of aid, which runs between 40,000 to 50,000 dinars (30 to 35 dollars) a month, according to the famillies, will be increased by a new amendment to a social security law dating from 1980."

      • Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons
      • UNDP reports

        United Nations Development Programme

        • UNDP Iraq Living Conditions Survey 2004 (12 May 2005)

          The UNDP carried out a survey in 2004 to analyse the living conditions in Iraq. This found that "Iraq [is] now suffering from some of the region’s highest rates of joblessness and child malnutrition and continuing severe deficiencies in sewage systems, electric power supplies and other essential public services"

          Key findings also include:

          • Unemployment among young men with secondary or higher education stands at 37 percent
          • Even though most Iraqis are now connected to water, electricity or sewage networks, supplies remain unstable and unreliable
          • Almost a quarter of children between the ages of six months and five years suffer from malnutrition
          • More young people today are illiterate than in previous generations
          • Just 83 percent of boys and 79 percent of girls of school age are enrolled in primary school.

          See also the UNDP press release.

          The questionnaire used for the survey is available from FAFO