Promoting an effective and inclusive humanitarian emergency response by the KRG

Project Description

Full Title: Promoting an effective and inclusive humanitarian emergency response by the KRG
Lead Fellow: Roger Guiu & Lahib Higel
Project in Brief: This project evaluates the gaps in KRG’s response to the latest humanitarian crisis and formulates policy recommendations aimed to make the response more effective and inclusive in face of future displacement episodes.
Term: 2014 – 2015
Most Recent: Publications and Events

Context and Rationale

Since Iraq’s conflict reached critical levels in June 2014, more than 2 million people have been displaced internally. Around 40% of them sought protection in the Kurdistan Region. The response by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to this massive influx of displaced families has suffered from gaps that undermined its effectiveness. These ‘gaps’ can be identified in many areas, including the actual response capacity; the coordination of aid efforts from diverse stakeholders; the coherence and maintenance of rule of law for the IDPs and minorities; tackling the threats to social cohesion; and compatibility of the region’s security policies and public service provision with the accommodation of humanitarian assistance.

The Kurdish authorities have gradually adopted a series of reactive short-term actions as the crisis unfolded and needs emerged. However, the KRG still lacks a resilient strategy in overall terms to ensure an effective and timely response to the sudden arrival of large numbers of IDPs, with the minimum impact on the host community. On the contrary, most of the leading role has been left to the humanitarian partners, who have been scaling up operations in spite of suffering from a big funding gap, while the authorities applied restrictive movement policies solely driven by internal security concerns.

A more effective and inclusive response for such a humanitarian emergency is crucial to avoid to a certain extent the impacts associated with the crisis: social tensions, security risks or economic impacts. As the internal conflict in Iraq is still far from being solved, violence can still trigger further waves of displacement within the country and towards the Kurdistan Region. Getting lessons learned and best practices available will contribute to make the public authorities and the host community more resilient to humanitarian crises.


Project Development

The primary aim of this work involves the identification of the gaps in KRG’s emergency response and the definition policy recommendations aimed to make the response more effective in face of future displacement episodes.

The project’s policy outcomes are built on the following activities:

>> High-level meetings and interviews with all stakeholders involved in emergency response (government officials at different levels, aid partners, international agencies, displaced community leaders). The discussions aim to evaluate the effectiveness and inclusiveness of the emergency response in the KRI and its impact on topics such as the overall capacity response, aid coordination, maintenance of the rule of law, social cohesion and internal security.

>> Evaluation of the current mechanisms and governmental bodies created during the emergency to provide a response to the IDPs arrival and the disruptions on host community. This also includes the identification of the institutional needs in terms of capacity reinforcement and addressing the gaps identified.

>> Formulation of proposals for reform within KRG that can help decision-makers to quickly respond to emergencies and strike a balance between internal security and inclusion. The proposals point out the areas where there is a need to better establish adequate resources, protocols, triggers and well-defined responsibilities.


Further Information

Humanitarian Strategic Response Plan 2014/2015 for Iraq
Humanitarian Response Portal for Iraq
REACH’s maps and situation reports on Iraq
UN Habitat’s Urban Humanitarian Response Portal
World Bank methodology for assessing impacts and costs of forced displacement

Publications and Events

As Displaced Families Return to Nineveh, How to Address Social Cohesion?

For more information please contact us at info[AT]