COVID-19 – Impact on older people – Rapid Needs Assessment

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, Iraq has reported more than 160,500 cases and over 5,500 deaths from the virus (13/08/20). Lock downs and curfews imposed by authorities to prevent its spread have had significant economic and social repercussions for Iraqis, particularly older people. In addition to the negative economic consequences of COVID-19, the Iraqi economy has been heavily impacted by the global drop in oil prices. A fragile and struggling economy combined with ongoing insecurity and political instability are leading factors fuelling humanitarian concerns. While exemptions have been granted for life saving activities, restrictions on movement have adversely impacted the ability of humanitarian actors to provide relief to those most at risk. Furthermore, as cases steadily increase across the region, Iraqi remains vulnerable to a potential spike in cases, with older people most likely to be affected. In the light of this, Oxfam and HelpAge International undertook, in June 2020, a multi-sector Rapid Needs Assessment in the Governates of Anbar, Diyala, Kirkuk, Ninewa, and Salah al-Din to provide a snapshot of the impact of COVID-19 on older people and their emerging needs. This survey collected information from older men and women over 50, especially those with disabilities. The information collected by this survey will inform Oxfam’s future programming and help shape the advocacy messages both organisations deploy with other humanitarian partners and the Iraqi government.