• Request support for nutrition coordination, information management and nutrition in emergencies

  • التماس الدعم لتنسيق التغذية وإدارة المعلومات والتغذية في حالات الطوارئ

  • Buscar apoyo para la coordinación de la nutrición, la gestión de la información y la nutrición en situaciones de emergencia

  • Demander un appui pour la coordination de la nutrition, la gestion de l'information et la nutrition dans les situations d'urgence

  • Solicite apoio para coordenação em nutrição, gestão de informação e nutrição em emergências

The GNC Technical Alliance provided in-depth support for Infant and Young Child feeding in Emergencies (IYCF-E), Social and Behavior Change and Assessment to UNICEF in Iraq.

Past support to Iraq

Social Behavior Change (2017)
Learning from Iraq Social Behavior change can help you plan your SBC program




In 2017, Iraq was experiencing high stunting rates with nearly one-fourth (23%) of the children stunted. Infant and young child feeding practices were sub-optimal which was contributing to the nutrition crisis.  There was huge displacement in Iraq due to Mosul's operation exacerbating the nutrition situation and making humanitarian response difficult. Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps were set up and there was a need to re-vitalize the Nutrition sub-working group to better coordinate the nutrition response. 

The request  

UNICEF Requested a Social Behavior Change (SBC) Advisor to propose an outline of the response strategy. The adviser conducted a Barrier Analysis on IYCF-E behaviors, and develop an SBC strategy and messages based on the formative research finding that prevents morbidity and mortality in the IDP camps. 

Key Achievement: 

  • Barrier Analysis (BA) training was conducted for 45 participants from the Directorate of Health of Erbil and Dohuk Governorate, Samaritan Purse and UNICEF to capacitate partners to conduct SBC studies for their program design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation. 

  • Barrier Analysis formative research on IYCF behaviors and practices was done in eight IDP camps in Erbil and Dohuk Governorate of Kurdistan Region-Iraq. 

  • A set of key messages related to key studied behaviors was developed and shared. 

  • Findings of the Barrier Analysis formative research, A set of Key messages related to key studied behaviors as well as a detailed SBC strategy were presented to all Governorate Directorate of Health (DoH) and Nutrition Working Groups (NWG) and Health Cluster for validation and discussion. 

  • A detailed SBC strategy action plan and activities including milestones and indicators to monitor and evaluate the success of the plan was developed and shared. 

Assessment ( 2017)
The GNC Technical Alliance support to Iraq can help you plan and design your Assessment program




The humanitarian response in Iraq was complicated in 2016 by the Mosul operation leading to a huge amount of human displacement. There was a health cluster coordinating the health and nutrition responses but there was a need and agreement between partners to re-vitalize a nutrition sub-working group to better coordinate the nutrition responses and feed the partners under Health Cluster. UNICEF requested support from the Technical Support team to provide technical experts to guide nutrition assessment and propose an outline of the response strategy. 

The request  

The Tech RRT provided support in building the capacity of stakeholders involved in humanitarian responses due to the Mosul crisis, particularly in the field of Nutrition Assessments. The Tech  Support Adviser leads an assessment of the nutrition situation in IDP camps using the SMART methodology.  

Key Achievements: 

  • After reviewing all available reports and visiting several IDP camps the assessment protocol was created in collaboration with assessment management staff. 

  • Led successful Enumerator training; including, 27 provincial Department of Health staff which attended the training, and the 4 assessment supervisors (2 UNICEF, 2 NRI) assisted with facilitating. The training included a required anthropometry standardization test, hemo-cue standardization test, and field test of the questionnaire. 

  • Trained 3 data entry staff to use Epi Info 7 software to create data entry templates, ENA for SMART double data entry function and oversaw the entire data entry process. 

  • Conduct analysis of Nutrition /Anthropometry results and presented the high-quality results to stakeholders 

IYCF-E (2017)
Do you need capacity building in IYCF-E? This is how the IYCF-E adviser strengthened the IYCF-E response in Iraq.




The conflict between armed groups in Iraq had profound humanitarian consequences. Military operations to retake Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq, from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) started on October 17, 2016. On 29th January 2017, 161,208 people were living in displacement due to the military operation in Mosul. Since the crisis began, some 188,000 people were accumulatively displaced, with nearly 30,000 people returning back to their liberated villages. The IYCF practice in Iraq was very low, early initiation of breastfeeding and exclusive breast-feeding practice was only 42.8% and 19% respectively Infant formula has been part of the food basket (general food distribution) for more than 20 years and there has been uncontrolled distribution of Breast Milk Substitutes in the host community and in the Internal Displaced Person (IDP) camps. 

The request  

The objective of the deployment of the IYCF-E technical advisor was to strengthen the delivery of the IYCF-E response through the provision of senior leadership, technical support, and capacity building during deployment to stakeholders involved in the humanitarian response due to the Mosul crisis. 

Key Achievement: 

  • A one-day workshop on IYCF-E was organized by UNICEF in collaboration with Tech Adviser and the Ministry of Health ( MoH). The objective of this workshop was to orient staff from MoH and partners on the importance of IYCF particularly during emergencies, integrate IYCF into other sectors, and do a SWOT analysis on the IYCF response 

  • Facilitated a two-day technical training on IYCF-E organized by UNICEF in collaboration with MoH and Technical Support Team. The objective of the training was to increase the knowledge and skills of health and nutrition experts from UNICEF, MOH, and NGOs on Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergency (IYCF-E). 

  • Developed simple guidelines for the management of BMS and shared them with UNICEF health and nutrition staff as well as with NWG members. 

  • Developed key IYCF messages for camp managers: The objective of developing the key messages was to create awareness among camp managers about the importance of breastfeeding and the danger of uncontrolled distribution of BMS during the emergency. The key messages were developed and shared with NWG members. 

  • Developed an IYCF-E plan of action: The IYCF-E action plan was developed based on the gaps identified and the SWOT analysis result. The IYCF-E action plan was shared with UNICEF.