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Notes on "Integrated Humanitarian Contingency Plan for Iraq and Neighbouring Countries"
Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, "Integrated Humanitarian Contingency Plan for Iraq and Neighbouring Countries", confidential draft, 7 January 2003, http://www.cesr.org/iraq/docs/contingency.pdf and http://www.casi.org.uk/info/undocs/internal.html
Pagination note: In the original document, page 1 begins with "I. Scope and Purpose of the Integrated Plan". In the on-line version, the page numbers do not appear on most pages. A reference in this summary to, for example, [p. 3(5)], denotes page 3 in the original number scheme, which is the 5th page in the PDF version hosted on the CASI website.
Text Note: The below text is transcript. Please check against the original.
Illegible Text: See the end of this note for select text clarification, checked against an alternative original.
"In the event of a crisis, 30 percent of children under 5 would be at risk of
death from malnutrition" [p. 3(5)]
"the collapse of essential services in Iraq ... could lead to a humanitarian emergency of proportions well beyond the capacity of UN agencies and other aid organizations" [p. 4(6)]
"all UN agencies have been facing severe funding constraints that are preventing them from reaching even minimum levels of preparedness" [p. 1(3)]
"the effects of over 12 years of sanctions, preceded by war, have considerably increased the vulnerability of the population". [p. 3(5)]
"WFP [world food programme] estimates that approximately 10 million people ... would be highly food insecure, displaced or directly affected by military action" [p. 11(13)]
"in the event of a crisis, only 39 percent of the population would be serviced [with water] on a rationed basis" [p. 12(14)]
"UNHCR estimates that up to 1.45 million refugees and asylum-seekers may seek to flee Iraq in the event of a military conflict" [p. 9(11)]
"Up to 900,000 people may be displaced in addition to the 900,000-1,100,000 existing IDPs [internally displaced persons]" [p. 10(12)]
[from tables on p. 12(14)]
Inability of UN to deal with a crisis
Lack of funding is a 'key constraint' on UN humanitarian planning: "all UN agencies have been facing severe funding constraints that are preventing them from reaching even minimum levels of preparedness". There has been no external funding, and internal funding is no more than limited borrowing opportunities. The situation may have changed since January 7, when the document was produced.
Nutrition and health
The document offers low-, medium- and high-impact scenarios for military campaign. Most of the UN planning is based on a 'medium-impact' scenario, where:
Humanitarian context in Iraq
"[T]he effects of over 12 years of sanctions, preceded by war, have considerably increased the vulnerability of the population". Most Iraqis have exhausted their cash and material assets.
"80 percent of the average household income is constituted by the food ration"
"60 percent of the population (around 16 million persons) rely solely on the monthly food basket to meet all household needs and would be directly and seriously affected by a disruption of the food distribution system."
The 30% of babies born with low birth weight will be "much more vulnerable to death and under-development"
"4.2 million children under five and 1 million pregnant women are highly vulnerable"
"[I]n the event of a crisis, 30 percent of children under 5 would be at risk of death from malnutrition"
"significant risk of measles outbreaks"
Clarification of text which is illegible in the online version:
Pg. 3(5), "Water and sanitation": "has access to potable water (92%)."
Pg. 8(10), "Food Stocks at the Household Level": "by the government to distribute"
Pg. 12(14), "Health and Nutrition" table:
Pg. 12(14), "Water and Sanitation" table:
The Center for Economic and Social Rights obtained these confidential documents from several UN personnel who believe that the potential humanitarian impact of war is a matter of global public concern that should be discussed fully and openly.
For further information, in the USA please contact: Roger Normand, CESR Executive Director (tel +1-718-237-9145 ext. 12, firstname.lastname@example.org) or Sarah Zaidi, CESR Research Director (tel +1-718-237-9145 ext. 19, email@example.com).
In the UK, please contact Glen Rangwala on 07880 665731.
This archive site is hosted by the Iraq Analysis Group, to whom queries should be directed