Coming to Terms with the Humanitarian Imperative in Iraq

Highlighting major changes in the context in Iraq and rapid deterioration of the humanitarian situation, this brief report summarizes an Iraq country study to be issued in final form as part of the Humanitarian Agenda 2015: Principles, Power and Perceptions (HA 2015) initiative, an independent research project of the Feinstein International Center, Tufts University. Following a series of observations about how humanitarianism is currently perceived in Iraq, this report highlights findings regarding the operational environment, donor environment, and strategic policy environment. The interviews conducted comprise a valuable compilation of field-based evidence, provided at a time of mounting access difficulties and diminishing awareness of the situation on the ground. In addition to extensive interviews, the report draws heavily upon work conducted in the region and the regular monitoring of developments by the Humanitarianism and War Project in 2004 and 2005, thus spanning a three-year period.2 It concludes with 20 recommendations for the UN system, Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement, humanitarian NGOs, the NGOs Coordinating Committee in Iraq (NCCI) and donors.