A new report released by a consortium of UN agencies and NGOs, including Internews, highlights the importance of access to information for Iraqi communities and their ability to cope with the current humanitarian crisis.
According to the United Nations, 1.8 million Iraqis have been displaced across the country due to the violent advances of the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). In addition, there are 216,000 registered Syrian refugees in Iraq.
"Communicating with, and providing information to, people affected by the crisis are two of the most important elements of humanitarian response," said Kevin Kennedy, Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq.
The priority communication needs among displaced people are information about home and family members, how to access aid and information about the future including the possibility of resettlement and asylum.
The report recommends two main areas of work: Increasing information flow and dialogue with displaced communities; and supporting existing communications channels, including local media and establishing new channels if necessary.
The situation is particularly acute for women. In some locations, women reported having no direct access to communication channels such as mobile phones, and overall limited information about assistance. "Sometimes we don't know that distributions are taking place," said one woman in Baharka camp on the outskirts of Erbil. Read more>>