Tuesday, 14 July 2020 12:30

UNOPS’ Iraq Information Center marks its fifth year in linking people with assistance

Largest ever inter-agency project, Iraq Information Center (IIC), has been offering vital information to those who need it the most, since its launch in July 2015.

● Operated by UNOPS on behalf of the Humanitarian Country Team in Iraq, the Iraq Information Center (IIC) partners with UN agencies and non-governmental organizations to enable two-way communication between the vulnerable communities and the humanitarian response in Iraq.
● Through its confidential and free hotline, the IIC started out with taking calls from only internally displaced people in 2015; gradually increasing its scope and operations to include returnees, asylum seekers, refugees, and the host community.
● During 2019, the IIC handled over 121,000 calls, 76% of which were from male callers and 24% were from female callers. In addition, 47% of these calls were received from internally displaced persons, 30% from returnees, 21% from refugees, and 2% from host communities. The IIC has received a diverse set of calls from parents who urgently needed food or cash to make ends meet, or survivors of gender-based violence, harassment or mistreatment of authority.
● The IIC remains dedicated to raising people’s voices during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The IIC stepped in through the provision of coordinated feedback via its monthly COVID-19 dashboard, in an effort to analyze the challenges the pandemic brought to the lives of thousands in Iraq. Partnering with various humanitarian clusters, the IIC has supported SMS campaigns to deliver information on prevention measures for COVID-19 in and outside of the camps across Iraq. In addition, IIC jointly conducts an opinion survey on COVID-19 with
Ground Truth Solutions to track community behaviour, which is inherently linked to information, trust and risk perception. Through phone interviews conducted since April 2020 in Anbar, Dohuk, Erbil, Ninewa, Salah al-Din and Sulaymaniyah governorates, the survey is designed to identify tangible steps that humanitarian responders can take to improve the COVID-19 response.
● As an inter-agency effort, IIC is generously financed by multiple contributors. The project is currently being funded by the Iraq Humanitarian Fund (IHF) provided by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), World Food Programme (WFP), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The project previously received financial support from the European Union, the Office of the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq and World Health Organization (WHO).

Quote 1 “The Iraq Information Centre is a ‘one-stop-shop’ to ensure the effective delivery of services to the affected communities. The success stories coming out of the Centre reinforce every day what an important resource it is,” said Richard Dictus, Deputy Special Representative for Iraq of the UN Secretary-General, United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator, a.i. “By calling the Centre, people in need have been able to access psychosocial counselling for instances of GBV, ensure that sick children can reach the hospital even during COVID-19 movement restrictions, and receive the cash assistance they are entitled to. Five years on, the IIC has easily proven its value.”

Quote 2 “USAID is proud to support the Iraq Information Center through our Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance. For five years, the IIC has acted as a platform for people to access lifesaving humanitarian assistance, and it will continue to be a critical lifeline for Iraqis who have been affected by conflict, refugees, and other vulnerable communities in Iraq,” said Dana Mansuri, Mission Director for USAID Iraq.

Quote 3 “The Iraq Information Centre is one of the humanitarian community's primary methods of strengthening accountability to affected populations in its operations. Fielding thousands of calls each month from people in need, the IIC provides a reliable outlet for reported problems, and established methods for follow-up. Consistent communication with communities is vital to ensuring that aid is efficiently and effectively provided to those who need it most,” said Georgios Petropoulos, OCHA Deputy Head of Office and Coordinator of the Iraq Coordination and Common Services Cluster.

“Our goal is to empower communities in Iraq through easy and free access to information. The IIC,
which is one of the flagship projects of the Humanitarian Country Team in accountability, has
connected over 3 million people in Iraq with the humanitarian agencies within the past five years,”
said Muhammad Usman Akram, Director for UNOPS Operational Hub in Amman.

Notes to the editors:
Press contact details:
Deniz Kucukcelebi, Communications and Reporting Officer - UNOPS
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or +9647517452130
Krman Abdalqadir, Social Networks and Communications Associate - UNOPS
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or +9647824505557

Additional Info

  • Agency: UNOPS

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