MapAction responds to Iraq crisis

Erbil, 30 Jun – MapAction has deployed two volunteers to Erbil in the Kurdistan region of Iraq to support the humanitarian response to widespread conflict across northern and central areas of the country.

MapAction’s volunteers are deploying in support of a United Nations’ team to help collate and disseminate key data about the crisis. In this complex and evolving situation, it is anticipated that the initial focus will be working with other organisations to develop, share and maintain data standards, so all humanitarian actors are using the same administrative boundaries and codes. The team will produce reference maps and templates to help support assessment and thematic mapping. It is also likely that MapAction’s 3W maps (“Who is doing What and Where?”) will play an important role in helping to coordinate the response.

Over the course of recent months, pockets of violence have escalated to widespread conflict across northern and central Iraq. According to UN reports, half a million people have fled Mosul and tens of thousands have fled the governorates of Diyala and Salah ad-Din.

Most internally displaced people (IDPs) have been forced to flee with few or no resources to sustain themselves in the long term. Initial UN assessments indicate that many are staying in the open and urgently need water, food, shelter and latrines. Humanitarian agencies are therefore prioritising the delivery of food, water, tents and other essential supplies for those affected.

MapAction’s Chief Executive, Liz Hughes, commented: “This is a very complex and volatile situation, which presents many significant challenges for humanitarian responders. MapAction’s volunteers will be working at the heart of the response to help coordinate the planning and delivery of emergency aid. Their efforts behind the scenes will help bring relief to thousands of people whose lives have been turned upside-down by this devastating conflict.”

Photo Credit: OCHA

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