Friday, October 17, 2008

International Organization for Migration Monthly Report on Iraq’s Displaced

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) recently released its monthly report on the status of Iraq’s internally displaced. The IOM found that the government is trying to get Iraq’s approximately five million refugees to return to their homes. It has appropriated 250 billion dinars for the program. On September 1, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announced the first phase when he issued Order 101 that said all squatters had to vacate their premises or face legal consequences. Those that left would be eligible for 300,000 dinars ($250) per month for six months to find another home. Order 101 also set up refugee centers in Baghdad to facilitate the return of families. The government hopes to expand these offices across the country eventually. Those refugees that do return can apply for one million dinars ($850) from the government. As of September 21, 16,782 families, 100,692 people, had come back to Baghdad, and 11,986 families have gone back to other areas of the country. 8,691 families for example, have gone back to Anbar and Diyala. 92% of those that have returned were internally displaced. Their motivations vary from improved security, to hardships, to evictions. Still, only around 3% of Iraq’s refugees have returned so far. The vast majority that remain displaced are facing problems with employment, water, food, jobs, etc., and need assistance. Iraq’s drought has also caused brand new displacements.

While the report offers no commentary on the IOM’s opinion of the government’s plans, many others have criticized it. The Committee on Displacement and Migration in parliament, for example, has consistently questioned the government, recently saying that the return plan is just a public relations ploy to improve the image of Baghdad. The United Nations’ refugee agency has also said that it does not believe it is time for Iraqis to return, but it will assist those that are voluntarily coming back.

The rest of the report gives a province-by-province break down of the status of Iraq’s displaced. It is based upon surveys of 201,348 families, 1,208,088 people. Here are the results.


Displaced Origins
  • Baghdad 63.7%
  • Diyala 19.0%
  • Ninewa 5.5%
  • Salahaddin 3.1%
  • Anbar 2.8%
  • Tamim 2.8%
  • Basra 1.7%
  • Babil 0.9%
  • Wasit 0.2%
  • Irbil 0.2%
  • Dhi Qar 0.1%

  • Shiite Arab 56.6%
  • Sunni Arab 31.0%
  • Sunni Kurd 3.7%
  • Assyrian Christian 3.0%
  • Chaldean Christian 1.9%
  • Shiite Turkmen 1.3%
  • Sunni Turkmen 1.0%
  • Shiite Kurd 0.7%
  • Armenian Christian 0.1%
  • Yazidi Arab 0.1%
  • Yazidi Kurd 0.1%

Have any family members been detained?
  • Iraq 3.5% yes, 96.% yes
  • Anbar 2.5% yes, 97.6% no
  • Babil 2.8% yes, 97.2% no
  • Baghdad 2.8%, 97.2% no
  • Basra 1.2% yes, 98.9% no
  • Dahuk, 0.2% yes, 99.8% no
  • Dhi Qar 5.1% yes, 94.9% no
  • Diyala 5.8% yes, 94.2% no
  • Irbil 0.1% yes, 99.95 no
  • Karbala 7.1% yes, 92.9% no
  • Muthanna 9.4% yes, 90.6% no
  • Najaf 3.9% yes, 96.1% no
  • Ninewa 2.3% yes, 97.7% no
  • Qadisiyah 0% yes, 100% no
  • Salahaddin 2.0% yes, 98.0% no
  • Sulaymaniya 0.7% yes, 99.3% no
  • Tamim 8.9% yes, 91.1% no
  • Wasit 8.6% yes, 91.4% no

Are there any missing family members?
  • Iraq 6.8% yes, 93.2% no
  • Anbar 0.9% yes, 99.1% no
  • Babil 3.2% yes, 96.8% no
  • Baghdad 2.8% yes, 97.2% no
  • Basra 2.0% yes, 98.0% no
  • Dahuk 2.2% yes, 97.8% no
  • Dhi Qar 16.1% yes, 83.9% no
  • Diyala 18.3% yes, 81.7% no
  • Irbil 1.6% yes, 98.4% no
  • Karbala 25.2% yes, 74.8% no
  • Maysan 3.7% yes, 96.4% no
  • Muthanna 6.3% yes, 93.7% no
  • Najaf 4.0% yes, 96.0% no
  • Ninewa 7.2% yes, 92.8% no
  • Qadisiyah 0.0% yes, 100% no
  • Salahaddin 3.4% yes, 96.6% no
  • Sulaymaniya 1.5% yes, 98.5% no
  • Tamim 24.2% yes, 75.8% no
  • Wasit 0.3% yes, 99.7% no


Anbar: Security remains tense in Anbar. The Health Director of the province is telling people to boil their water to stave off cholera. 50 displaced families from Arduma live outside of Fallujah due to the drought. They are living in tents, and need food, water, and permanent housing. 3,087 families have returned to the province as well. Most say they came back because they were running out of money and pressure from the government to leave where they were. The Ministry of Displacement and Migration has started giving out the one million dinars to returnees in Anbar. Most have gone to Baghdad to apply for the payments.

Study of 8,623 families
Origins: 76.9% Baghdad, 15.7% Anbar, 6.7% Basra, 0.5% Diyala, 0.1% Babil, 0.1% Salahaddin
Sect: 98.7% Sunni Arab, 1.0% Shiite Arab

Babil: Security is uneven across the province. There is still fighting in the north and south, while the middle is secure. Twenty displaced families from Baghdad are squatting on government land in al Tahmaziyah in al Musayab district. They are living in mud houses and the government has told them they have to leave. They have nowhere else to go. 74 families in al Rawajeh and al Dedam villages only have drinking water from a local river.

Study of 10,357 families
Origins: 81.2% Baghdad, 6.2% Babil, 6.1% Diyala, 2.4% Salahaddin, 2.1% Anbar, 1.0% Wasit, 0.9% Tamim, 0.1% Ninewa,
Sect: 94.4% Shiite Arab, 5.4% Sunni Arab, 0.1% Yazidi Arab

Baghdad: Security is unstable in Baghdad. After bombings in the Karada and Jadria districts in mid-September 2008, the Interior Ministry said all squatters had to leave the area. The police are conducting the removals. More families are also coming back to Baghdad. As of September 21, 2008, 16,782 families had returned. The Ministry of Displacement and Migration is operating return centers in the capitol. Many returnees say they are coming back because of improved security. There have been some incidents however, such as a family being killed in the Jihad district. In Abu Ghraib, just outside of Baghdad, the local government and community leaders are working with the Ministry of Transportation to help 57 families come back to the Zytoon village. The Baghdad Operations Center is also assisting 107 families to come back to the Hurriya area of the capitol. Many returnees are still facing problems. In Rusafa, squatters might be evicted and have nowhere to go. They have protested in front of the Green Zone to try to stop being removed.

Study of 61,913 families
Origin: 82.6% Baghdad, 14.3% Diyala, 1.6% Anbar, 0.8% Salahaddin, 0.3% Tamim, 0.2% Ninewa, 0.1% Babil
Sect: 70.7% Shiite Arab, 29.1% Sunni Arab, 0.1% Shiite Kurd

Basra: There are still security issues in Basra. Five displaced families living in Door al-Nafut area are facing evictions. They have no money to go anywhere else. The water quality is poor throughout the province.

Study of 4,956 families
Origin: 51.8% Baghad, 26.3% Salahaddin, 8.2% nbar, 6.4% Diyala, 4.1% Tamim, 2.0% Babil, 0.7% Basra, 0.3% Wasit, 0.2% Ninewa
Sect: 99.8% Shiite Arab, 0.1% Sunni Arab

Dahuk: Security is good in Dahuk. Many displaced living in Dahuk city have sold their belongings in order to pay their bills. Those that have run out of money are working illegal jobs. Some women have even become prostitutes. Some have been robbed as well. There is little coordination between the Kurdistan Regional Government and Baghdad over refugees.

Study of 3,576 families
Origin: 54.1% Baghdad, 44.3% Ninewa, 0.6% Tamim, 0.5% Basra, 0.3% Anbar, 0.1% Salahaddin, 0.1% Muthanna
Sect: 40.9% Sunni Kurd, 27.7% Chaladean Christian, 19.0% Assyrian Christian, 3.3% Armenia Christian, 2.2% Sunni Arab, 2.2% Yazidi Kurd, 2.0% Shiite Arab, 0.7% Shiite Turkmen, 0.3% Sunni Turkmen, 0.3% Shiite Kurd, 0.2% Christian Kurd

Dhi Qar: Security is good in Dhi Qar. It is hard for displaced to find jobs there. Displaced children in Al Ewnees have been dropping out of school.

Study of 6,441 families
Origin: 67.8% Baghdad, 13.4% Salahaddin, 8.5% Diyala, 3.4% Anbar, 2.9% Tamim, 2.6% Babil, 1.2% Wasit, 0.2% Muthanna, 0.1% Ninewa
Sect: 99.5% Shiite Arab, 0.3% Yazidi Arab, 0.1% Sunni Arab

Diyala: Security has improved because of the security operation there, but it is still dangerous. Displaced in Gatoon fear they will be attacked. Some families came back before the military operation in Diyala, but many more have returned since then. 5,604 families have come back so far, 1,900 of which returned before the military offensive. Returnees are short of food, and many have found that their homes have been robbed or destroyed while they were away. The drought is also affecting the province. Al Tahrir and al Qadoon areas of Baquba have reported threats against returnees. Some have been killed in the Ha al-Mualemeen area of Baquba. Returnees in Hay al-Bayader have not been able to transfer their food rations to there, so they are short on food. Some have not gotten the government money for returnees because they haven’t registered over security concerns.

Study of 14,361 families
Origin: 83.8% Diyala, 15.5% Baghdad, 0.2% Anbar, 0.2% Tamim, 0.1% Salahaddin, 0.1% Babil
Sect: 58.1% Sunni Arab, 32.6% Shiite Arab, 6.4% Shiite Kurd, 1.9% Sunni Kurd, 0.6% Shiite Turkmen, 0.5% Turkmen

Irbil: Security is good in Irbil. Families are leaving the province to go back to their homes. Fifteen families left the Mamostayan area for Baghdad and Ninewa. Twelve families departed the Polistan area for Baghdad from January to March 2008. During the same time period, ten families left Balashawa for Baghdad. Many displaced families from Ninewa that are in Irbil go back to their home province to pick up their food rations. Families from Baghdad on the other hand, have transferred their food rations to Irbil. There is a general lack of electricity for the displaced and Kurds in the province.

Study of 5,138 families
Origin: 46.71% Baghdad, 45.52% Ninewa, 2.51% Tamim, 2.18% Diyala, 0.97% Anbar,0.66% Salahaddin, 0.25 Basra, 0.19% Irbil, 0.08% Qadisiyah, 0.08% Muthann, 0.08% Babil, 0.06% Karbala, 0.04% Najaf
Sect: 39.2% Sunni Kurd, 28.4% Sunni Arab, 19.4% Chaldean Christian, 4.9% Assyrian Chrstian, 2.0% Christian, 1.4% Shiite Arab, 0.9% Armenian Christian, 0.5% Sunni Turkmen, 0.2% Christian Kurd, 0.1% Sabean Mandean Arab, 0.1% Christian Arab

Karbala: Security is stable in Karbala. The medical clinics in Ain al Tamer are charged with corruption, selling drugs illegally. There is also a problem with contaminated water throughout the province.

Study of 12,569 families
Origin: 58.5% Baghdad, 26.3% Diyala, 7.2% Anbar, 2.7% Ninewa, 2.5% Babil, 1.5% Salahaddin, 1.4% Tamim, 0.1% Karbala
Sect: 98.5% Shiite Arab, 1.1% Shiite Turkmen, 0.3% Yazidi Arab

Maysan: Security is stable in Maysan. 152 families fled to al Kahla district because of violence. They lack clean water, sanitation, and jobs. 27 displaced families from Diyala that fled violence to live in al Haydaria village now live in mud houses without water, and are also facing food shortages. There are twelve displaced families from Wasit living in Al Jamsha village, who are squatting on tribal land.

Study of 6,573 families
Origin: 82.8% Baghdad, 7.7% Diyala, 5.7% Salahaddin, 1.5% Tamim, 1.0% Anbar, 0.5% Wasit, 0.3% Babil, 0.2% Basra, 0.2% Ninewa
Sect: 99.9% Shiite Arab, 0.1% Sabean Mandean Arab

Muthanna: Security is good in Muthanna. The Sader, Hakam, Mahdy, and Shuhada areas all lack clean water. Those same areas are also short of electricity, which can be off for up to fifteen hours a day. 20 displaced families in al Hema lack food, water, jobs, and are suffering from diseases and illnesses.

Study of 2,788 families
Origin: 71.6% Baghdad, 13.5% Diyala, 7.5% Anbar, 2.3% Babil, 2.0% Salahaddin, 1.2% Ninewa, 1.2% Wasit, 0.6% Qadisiyah, 0.2% Irbil
Sect: 99.5% Shiite Arab

Najaf: Security is good in Najaf. The displaced are facing evictions because rents are going up. 33 displaced families in al Zahra are suffering from sicknesses. 17 families in Tuber al-Ibraheem have no water and electricity.

Study of 6,109 families
Origin: 84.8% Baghdad, 7.1% Diyala, 2.6% Ninewa, 2.1% Anbar, 1.4% Tamim, 1.2% Salahaddin, 0.8% Babil
Sect: 97.8% Shiite Arab, 1.3% Shiite Turkmen, 0.8% Arab Christian, 0.1% Shiite Kurd

Ninewa: The Kurds and the central government are still arguing over Ninewa. Mosul remains dangerous. Al Sahiroon in Mosul has six displaced families that have fled violence, but are now facing high rents. Nine displaced families are living in al Koeer. Displaced families live in mud huts in the Khothor Illian and al Sahaji villages.

Study of 12,228 families
Origin: 50.8% Baghdad, 38.6% Ninewa, 6.5% Basra, 1.1% Diyala, 0.9% Tamim, 0.6% Salahaddin, 0.6% Anbar, 0.5% Babil, 0.2% Wasit, 0.1% Qadisiyah, 0.1% Dhi Qar
Sect: 37.6% Assyrian Christian, 26.5% Sunni Arab, 12.8% Chaldean Christian, 12.4% Sunni Turkmen, 3.6% Sunni Kurd, 2.2% Shiite Turkmen, 0.8% Shiite Arab, 0.3% Yazidi Arab, 0.2% Christian Armenian, 0.2% Yazidid Kurd

Qadisiyah: After military operations in Qadisiyah in July security has improved. Sixteen displaced families in al Jazeir are facing evictions because they are squatting on government land. Displaced families in Hay al-Sadr are living in poor housing.

Study of 3,442 families
Origin: 81.4% Baghdad, 6.5% Diyala, 4.6% Anbar, 3.0% Salahadin, 2.4% Tamim, 1.7% Babil, 0.3% Wasit, 0.1% Ninewa
Sect: 100% Shiite Arab

Salahaddin: There is occasional violence in Salahaddin. 607 displaced families are squatting on government land near Tikrit University. 150 displaced families living in Julam al-Bariyyah lack water. Local farmers are also running out of water because of the drought.

Study of 14,916 families
Origin: 49.4% Baghdad, 15.4% Tamim, 12.8% Basra, 9.6% Diyala, 5.5% Salahaddin, 1.9% Ninewa, 1.8% Anbar, 1.3% Irbil, 0.8% Wasit, 0.7% Dhi Qar, 0.6% Babil, 0.1% Qadisiyah, 0.1% Karbala
Sect: 96.4% Sunni Arab, 2.2% Shiite Arab, 0.8% Shiite Turkmen, 0.4% Sunni Kurd, 0.1% Sunni Turkmen

Sulamaniyah: Security is good in Sulamaniyah. 31 displaced families have left the province to go back to Baghdad. 76 families wanted to go back to Baghdad, Diyala, and Ninewa, but changed their minds because they didn’t think it was safe enough. 120 families from Qalawa camp have gone back to their homes. The remainder do not want to go back because of security concerns. The government has offered to set up a camp for them in Bazyan, but they do not want to move.

Study of 5,408 families
Origin: 46.5% Diyala, 45.6% Baghdad, 2.9% Anbar, 1.9% Ninewa, 0.9% Salahaddin, 0.6% Tamim, 0.5% Basra, 0.4% Babil, 0.2% Wasit, 0.1% Dhi Qar, 0.1% Sulamaniyah, 0.1% Karbala
Sect: 62.8% Sunni Arab, 22.5% Sunni Kurd, 10.4% Shiite Arab, 2.6% Shiite Kurd, 0.4% Yazidi Kurd, 0.3% Sabean Mandean Arab, 0.3% Sunni Turkmen, 0.2% Chaldean Christian, 0.1% Christian Arab, 0.1% Christian Assyrian

Tamim: Security has improved in Tamim, but it is still an issue. Most of the violence there is based upon ethnicity. Displaced families have been attacked in al Multaka and al Hawiga. Six girls were also kidnapped and raped. 76 Kurdish families were forced out of al Hawiga, and are now squatting in the Koli neighborhood of Dibis. They can’t go back because militants control their homes, and they can’t find work either. 85 Kurdish families displaced from al Hawiga now live in the Qadisiyah area, and are squatting on government land. The al Qadisiyah and Benja Ali areas are lacking health care.

Study of 9,628 families
Origin: 27.5% Diyala, 18.7% Tamim, 17.5% Baghdad, 15.4% Salahaddin, 15.2% Ninea, 4.1% Anbar, 1.0% Irbil, 0.2% Basra, 0.2% Sulamaniyah, 0.1% Babil
Sect: 49.21% Sunni Arab, 21.49% Sunni Kurd, 18.13% Shiite Turkomen, 3.25% Sunni Turkmen, 3.11% Shiite Arab, 1.62% Assyrian Christian, 1.36% Shiite Kurd, 0.57% Chaldean Christian, 0.2%, 0.03% Christian Turkmen

Wasit: Security is good in Wasit. 100 displaced families have left the province for their homes. Other displaced are squatting in al Joba village on government land in mud houses. They have been told they have to leave.

Study of 12,404 families
Origin: 64.9% Baghdad, 32.9% Diyala, 1.0% babil, 0.5% Tamim, 0.4% Anbar, 0.2% Salahaddin, 0.1% Basra
Sect: 99.9% Shiite Arab, 0.15 Sunni Arab

For more on Iraq’s refugees see:

Al Jazeera Report On Squatters

Baghdad Issues Ultimatum To Squatters

Baghdad Sets A Deadline For Squatters (Again)

Baghdad Working On Extending Plane Trips For Iraqi Refugees From Jordan

Brookings Institution Iraq Refugee Report

Déjà Vu? Government Returns Refugees

Displaced Iraqis Returning Slowly, Government Bureaucracy Might Be Slower

Enticing Iraqi Refugees To Return

Few Iraqi Refugees Want To Return

Government Refugee Policy At Work In Najaf and Diyala

Government’s Displaced Plan?

International Crisis Group’s Report on Iraqi Refugees

International Organization for Migration and Iraqi Ministry of Displacement and Migration Survey of Displaced Iraqis

Iraq’s Displacement and Migration Committee Criticizes Maliki’s Refugee Plan

Numbers on Internally Displaced Iraqis

Only Sunnis Displaced Welcomed in Baghdad’s Dora District?

Returns And Removals In Baghdad

Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction’s Numbers for Iraq’s Internally Displaced


Adas, Basil, “More than 11,000 displaced families return to Baghdad,” Gulf News, 8/4/08

Fadel, Leila, “Displaced Iraqis, now told to go home, fear for their lives,” McClatchy Newspapers, 10/5/08

International Crisis Group, “Failed Responsibility: Iraqi Refugees In Syria, Jordan and Lebanon,” 7/10/08

International Organization for Migration, “IOM Emergency Needs Assessments,” 10/1/08

IRIN, “Plane-load of Iraqis due to be repatriated this week,” 9/29/08

Ministry of Displacement and Migration & International Organization for Migration, “Returnee Monitoring and Needs Assessments Tabulation Report,” September 2008

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