International Christian Concern | October 21, 2020
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have continued to not receive national access authorization in Iraq. This means the federal Iraqi government has denied NGOs the ability to intervene in humanitarian crises in the specific regions of the country.
As of September 21, 2020, access was denied to NGOs on 36 different occasions, primarily in the Nineveh and Al-Anbar regions. Although incidents have significantly dropped since November 2019, Nineveh remains a problematic access point for humanitarian aid. Military intervention is rare, but violent attacks on aid workers and facilities have occurred more frequently.
Until the federal government allows full access to NGOs, Iraqi Christians fear they are not safe to return to their home villages decimated by ISIS. Security and infrastructure are still weak following the ISIS occupation. Christians from the Nineveh region say they will not return until the situation improves, with the ISIS genocide fresh in their minds.