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Published on March 13th, 2018 | by Georgia Archonti


Reconstruction Needed as Displaced Iraqis Continue to Return: IOM Iraq

As the recent Kuwait International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq came to a close, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reported that internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Iraq continue to return home by the thousands.

According to IOM’s latest Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) report, as of 31 January 2018 more than 3.3 million Iraqis have returned to their areas of origin, while nearly 2.5 million people continue to live in displacement. New IOM figures show that return movements are ongoing – in January another 125,000 returnees were identified – mainly to the four governorates of Ninewa, Salah al-Din, Kirkuk and Anbar.

Since the start of the crisis in early 2014, with ISIL later holding large parts of central Iraq and the subsequent conflict to retake these areas, nearly six million Iraqis have been displaced. Their communities have suffered widespread devastation and damage.

In January 2018, for the first time in more than three years, there were more returnees than internally displaced people. In the last three years, Anbar Governorate has received the largest number of returnees in the country, due to improved security, rehabilitation of services and rebuilding of infrastructures.

In January 2018, the three governorates reporting the biggest decreases in IDP numbers were Ninewa (- 6 per cent), Baghdad (- 12 per cent), and Anbar (- 17 per cent). Together, they account for almost two-thirds of the nationwide decrease of IDPs (more than 145,000). Of the remaining 2.47 million IDPs in Iraq, only half (51 per cent) are reportedly housed in private settings, while more than a quarter (26 per cent) still live in camps.

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