Before the February 2006 Samarra bombing there were already around 1,212,108 displaced. Afterwards the sectarian war started and another 1,596,448 left their homes. Currently Baghdad is promoting the return of its refugees both within and without the country. In the capital, returnees are supposed to register with the security forces for their protection. Returns are happening, but at a slow rate according to the IOM. The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction reported that only around 16,000 families had come back to Iraq. The Ministry of Displacement and Migration said that 46,000 families had returned as of November 2008, with 36,000 having gone back to their homes. According to the U.S. Embassy there were still 2,807,433 internal refugees. Displacement itself has slowed in the country with only occasional incidents such as the recent attacks on Christians in Mosul that caused 1,784 families to flee the city.
With the changed environment in the country, the IOM now believes that humanitarian aid and protection for Iraq’s refugees is the most important issue. Those Iraqis that have come home need assistance. They also need security because there are several reports of families that have come back being attacked in Baghdad. There are also some families that wish to return, but don’t have the money to do so. Najaf, Basra, and Qadisiya provinces all have families that want to go home, but need help. Evictions are also a growing concern with the displaced, especially those who are squatting. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki issued Order 101 during the summer saying that all squatters must leave their residences. This is beginning to be enforced in parts of Baghdad, and scattered other sections of the country. Karbala for example has 118 families that might be evicted, while Tamim has 28.
Here are the results of the IOM’s November survey.
Poll of 206,407 families, approximately 1,238,422 people
- Baghdad 64.1%
- Diyala 20.4%
- Ninewa 6.3%
- Salahaddin 3.1%
- Anbar 2.3%
- Tamim 1.9%
- Babil 1.0%
- Basra 0.5%
- Wasit 0.2%
- Irbil 0.1%
- Shiite Arab 64.0%
- Sunni Arab 22.4%
- Sunni Kurd 4.2%
- Assyrian Christian 3.3%
- Chaldean Christian 2.0%
- Shiite Turkomen 1.3%
- Sunni Turkomen 1.1%
- Shiite Kurd 0.7%
- Arab Yazidi 0.1%
- Armenian Christian 0.1%
- Yazidi Kurd 0.1%
Has family received aid?
- Iraq Yes 63.3% No 36.1%
- Anbar Yes 89.7% No 8.0%
- Najaf Yes 89.6% No 10.0%
- Wasit Yes 89.5% No 10.5%
- Qadisiya Yes 88.3% No 11.2%
- Karbala Yes 81.8% No 17.5%
- Diyala Yes 80.5% No 19.3%
- Babil Yes 74.7% No 25.2%
- Ninewa Yes 73.8% No 25.6%
- Maysan Yes 73.7% No 26.1%
- Muthanna Yes 75.2% No 24.1%
- Dhi Qar Yes 72.1% No 27.4%
- Salahaddin Yes 56.9% No 39.7%
- Dohuk Yes 56.0% No 43.9%
- Basra Yes 54.2% No 45.8%
- Baghdad Yes 51.0% No 48.9%
- Tamim Yes 41.1% No 57.9%
- Sulaymaniya Yes 15.9% No 84.1%
- Irbil Yes 6.0% No 92.9%
What kind of aid has the group received?
- Iraq: Health 13.4%, Non-Food Items 50.0%, Food 59.9%, Sanitation 0.9%, Other 9.5%
- Anbar: Health 15.4%, Non-Food Items 82.0%, Food 91.3%, Sanitation 0.8%, Other 1.1%
- Babil: Health 47.8%, Non-Food Items 69.9%, Food 74.2%, Sanitation 1.3%, Other 5.2%
- Baghdad: Health 8.1%, Non-Food Items 39.6%, Food 47.6%, Sanitation 0.1%, Other 2.4%
- Basra: Health 0.7%, Non-Food Items 41.6%, Food 49.9%, Sanitation 0.2%, Other 7.6%
- Dhi Qar: Health 1.8%, Non-Food Items 66.0%, Food 71.0%, Sanitation 0.4%, Other 20.3%
- Diyala: Health 16.6%, Non-Food Items 69.4%, Food 80.0%, Sanitation 0.3%, Other 18.5%
- Dohuk: Health 0.1%, Non-Food Items 34.7%, Food 30.1%, Sanitation 0.0%, Other 35.1%
- Irbil: Health 0.0%, Non-Food Items 2.1%, Food 2.2%, Sanitation 0.0%, Other 3.6%
- Karbala: Health 52.0%, Non-Food Items 72.1%, Food 81.4%, Sanitation 10.3%, Other 0.7%
- Maysan: Health 1.8%, Non-Food Items 70.6%, Food 50.1%, Sanitation 0.0%, Other 1.1%
- Muthanna: Health 14.6%, Non-Food Items 60.7%, Food 74.2%, Sanitation 0.0%, Other 4.1%
- Najaf: Health 20.1%, Non-Food Items 35.7%, Food 89.0%, Sanitation 1.0%, Other 2.9%
- Ninewa: Health 6.3%, Non-Food Items 58.3%, Food 67.0%, Sanitation 0.1%, Other 14.9%
- Qadisiya: Health 26.4%, Non-Food Items 76.9%, Food 86.5%, Sanitation 0.0%, Other, 11.9%
- Salahaddin: Health 12.7%, Non-Food Items 28.6%, Food 60.0%, Sanitation 0.3%, Other 2.2%
- Sulaymaniya: Health 1.5%, Non-Food Items 6.8%, Food 10.7%, Sanitation 1.2%, Other 2.3%
- Tamim: Health 10.7%, Non-Food Items 31.0%, Food 34.7%, Sanitation 0.2%, Other 5.2%
- Wasit: Health 1.3%, Non-Food Items 74.5%, Food 86.2%, Sanitation 0.1%, Other 60.3%
Survey Of Provinces
Anbar: Security has improved in the province. Access to water for the displaced is getting better across Anbar. The problem is portable water depends upon electricity, which is uneven across the province, and even within cities like Fallujah. One district in the city gets 14-16 hours/day, while another only gets 5-7 hours/day.
- Survey: 8,908 families
- Origin: Baghdad 77.5%, Anbar 15.2%, Basra 6.4%, Diyala 0.6%, Salahaddin 0.1%, Babil 0.1%
- Ethnicity/Religion: Sunni Arab 98.6%, Shiite Arab 0.9%
Babil: Security is still an issue in Babil. The U.S. is bombing some areas in the province. The central and southern regions have on going U.S. security operations. One displaced family that returned received threats and had to flee.
- Survey 10,540 displaced families
- Origin: Baghdad 81.0%, Babil 6.1%, Diyala 5.9%, Salahaddin 2.3%, Anbar 2.1%, Wasit 1.0%, Tamim 0.9%, Ninewa 0.1%
- Ethnicity/Religion: Shiite Arab 94.5%, Sunni Arab 5.3%, Yazidi Arab 0.1%
Baghdad: Violence increased in Baghdad during Ramadan as usual. There were attacks on a shopping district in Karrada that killed 34 and wounded 52. Baghdad al-Jadid had 12 assassinations. The Minister of Labor escaped an attempt on his life. There has also been an increase in IEDs and kidnappings. As noted before, the government is encouraging Iraqis to return. Order 101 also said that squatters must vacate their premises. In Hurriya, squatters there have been given a month to leave. 70 families have been kicked out so far. There have also been a few attacks across the country on returnees. In Albo A’atha, 3 women were killed after they came back. In Mashtal, three families received threats, which forced them to flee again. In Dora, six families were killed within a month of coming back. That area is becoming an increasingly violent one for returnees. In Jihad, the head of a family was killed when he went back to look at his abandoned house. Some of these families had not contacted the security forces about their returns, which could account for them being attacked. In Karkh, 47 displaced families have been living in mud houses since 2003 with no sanitation. Twelve displaced families in that same area are living in houses with dirt floors. In Adhmaiya, 455 displaced families from Baghdad, Diyala and the south are living without jobs, sanitation, and aid from the government.
- Survey of 62,077 families
- Origin: Baghdad 82.8%, Diyala 14.1%, Anbar 1.5%, Salahaddin 0.8%, Tamim 0.3%, Ninewa 0.2%, Babil 0.1%
- Ethnicity/Religion: Shiite Arab 70.7%, Sunni Arab 29.0%, Chaldean Christian 0.1%
Basra: Security is still an issue in the province. There are assassinations, kidnappings, and attacks. Security checkpoints are everywhere and slow movement across the area. The provincial education department is allowing families that have missed up to two years of school to go back. This will have a positive affect upon the displaced that had to drop out.
- Survey of 5,025 families
- Origin: Baghdad 52.2%, Salahaddin 26.0%, Anbar 8.1%, Diyala 6.5%, Tamim 4.0%, Babil 2.0%, Basra 0.7%, Wasit 0.3%, Ninewa 0.2%
- Ethnicity/Religion: Shiite Arab 99.8%, Sunni Arab 0.1%
Dhi Qar: Security is good in Dhi Qar. The Al-Shatra district lacks adequate health care.
- Survey of 6,555 families
- Origin: Baghdad 67.6%, Salahaddin 13.4%, Diyala 8.4%, Anbar 3.4%, Tamim 2.9%, Babil 2.7%, Wasit 1.3%, Muthanna 0.2%, Ninewa 0.1%
- Ethnicity/Religion: Shiite Arab 99.5%, Sunni Arab 0.1%, Yazidi Arab 0.3%
Diyala: Security in Diyala is not as bad as it was before, but there is still a lot of violence, arrests, assassinations, and suicide bombers. The Khanaqin district is still troubled as it is a disputed territory between Baghdad and Kurdistan. 19 displaced families came back to Al-Sewaed, but found their homes destroyed. 21 displaced families came back to Jalwalaa, Khanaqin district, but lack water.
- Survey of 14,627 families
- Origin: Diyala 83.1%, Baghdad 16.3%, Tamim 0.2%, Anbar 0.2%, Salahaddin 0.1%, Babil 0.1%
- Ethnicity/Religion: Sunni Arab 57.3%, Shiite Arab 33.4%, Shiite Kurd 6.3%, Sunni Kurd 2.0%, Shiite Turkomen 0.6%, Sunni Turkomen 0.5%
Dohuk: Security is good. 200 Christian families fled to Dohuk from Mosul after their community came under attack there in October. The cost of living is increasingly rapidly causing problems for the displaced. Displaced Arabs can’t go to many schools in the province, because most aren’t in Arabic. Most schools are overcrowded anyway.
- Survey of 3,695 families
- Origins: Baghdad 52.6%, Ninewa 45.8%, Tamim 0.6%, Basra 0.5%, Anbar 0.3%, Salahaddin 0.1%, Muthanna 0.1%
- Ethnicity/Religion: Shiite Arab 40.9%, Sunni Arab 27.7%, Armenian Christian 19.0%, Armenian Sunni 3.3%, Assyrian Christian 2.2%, Chaldean Christian 2.2%, Chaldean Sunni 0.7%, Christian Kurd 0.3%, Shiite Kurd 0.3%, Sunni Kurd 0.3%, Yazidi Kurd 0.2%
Irbil: Security is good. 150 Christian families from Mosul recently fled to Irbil to escape attacks in that city.
- Survey of 5,670 families
- Origin: Baghdad 48.6%, Ninewa 44.0%, Tamim 2.3%, Diyala 2.0%, Anbar 0.9%, Salahaddin 0.6%, Irbil 0.4%, Basra 0.2%, Qadisiya 0.1%, Muthanna 0.1%, Karbala 0.1%, Babil 0.1%
- Ethnicity/Religion: Sunni Kurd 38.5%, Sunni Arab 31.8%, Chaldean Christian 17.7%, Assyrian Christian 4.6%, Other Christian 1.9%, Shiite Arab 1.3%, Armenian Christian 0.8%, Sunni Turkomen 0.5%, Christian Kurd 0.2%, Arab Christian 0.1%, Sabean Mandean Arab 0.1%
Karbala: 118 displaced families in the Al Fars neighborhood and 2 families in Al-Hady are squatting on government owned land, and have been asked to leave. They don’t have any money so they plan on fighting to stay. They depend upon the government to truck in water as well. Zibilia village has no clean water and rely upon a local river. The majority of displaced in the province do not have jobs, and don’t get enough government rations or have access to schools.
- Survey of 12,569 families
- Origin: Baghdad 58.4%, Diyala 26.3%, Anbar 7.2%, Ninewa 2.7%, Babil 2.5%, Tamim 1.4%, Salahaddin 1.4%, Karbala 0.1%
- Ethnicity/Religion: Shiite Arab 98.5%, Shiite Turkomen 1.1%, Yazidi Arab 0.3%
Maysan: Security is good. 22 displaced families, 245 people, from Baghdad and Diyala live in Al Debisat village due to sectarian violence. They are living in mud huts with no water, sanitation or jobs. 71 displaced families in Al-Iskan neighborhood who fled violence in Diyala, Baghdad, and Anbar, have not transferred their ration cards and can’t get food, face unemployment, and are impoverished. 106 displaced families, 650 people, living in Hay al-Shohadaa area can’t afford rent.
- Survey of 6,564 families
- Origins: Baghdad 82.7%, Diyala 7.8%, Salahaddin 5.7%, Tamim 1.5%, Anbar 1.1%, Wasit 0.5%, Babil 0.3%, Ninewa 0.2%, Basra 0.2%
- Ethnicity/Religion: Shiite Arab 99.9%, Sabean Mandean Arab 0.1%
Muthanna: Security is good. 9 displaced families who fled insurgents in Baghdad and Babil live in the Al Shuhada neighborhood and lack water and sanitation. They are poor and unemployed, and need food as well. 7 displaced families in Nesan neighborhood who fled sectarian violence face unemployment, and lack water and sewage.
- Survey of 2,920 families
- Origin: Baghdad 70.8%, Diyala 12.9%, Anbar 7.9%, Salahaddin 2.7%, Babil 2.2%, Wasit 1.7%, Ninewa 1.1%, Qadisiya 0.6%, Irbil 0.2%
- Ethnicity/Origin: Shiite Arab 99.%
Najaf: Security is good. 59 displaced families, 306 people, who fled Baghdad and Diyala, live in Haydareya. They lack sanitation and services. 34 displaced families, 204 people, who fled sectarian violence in Baghdad, Diyala and Mosul who now live in Wafaa village, need food and supplies.
- Survey 6,249 families
- Origin: Baghdad 85.1%, Diyala 7.0%, Ninewa 2.5%, Anbar 2.0%, Tamim 1.4%, Salahaddin 1.2%, Babil 0.8%, Dohuk 0.1%
- Ethnicity/Religion: Shiite Arab 97.9%, Shiite Turkomen 1.2%, Arab Christian 0.8%, Shiite Kurd 0.1%
Ninewa: Ninewa was the site of attacks on Christians in the city of Mosul in October. Several were killed. As of November 2, 1,497 Christian families had registered with the Ministry of Displacement and Migration. About 287 families had not registered, for a total of 1,784 displaced Christian families. Many fled the city for other parts of Ninewa, Dohuk, Irbil, and Tamim provinces. The Ministry of Displacement and Migration is offering 800,000-900,000 dinars to each displaced family. Most have gotten their first payment. The government is also offering 1 million dinars if any Christian families return to Mosul. 100 families have come back so far, but most are apprehensive, and are not ready to return. 34 displaced families in Mosul who fled Tal Afar because of sectarian violence that killed 75 of their family members, lack jobs, live in poverty, and don’t get their food rations. 4 displaced families in Al Twajna village who are Shabaks who fled violence in Mosul, live in mud huts, have no jobs, and lost their farms.
- Survey of 12,738 families
- Origins: Baghdad 50.2%, Ninewa 39.3%, Basra 6.2%, Diyala 1.2%, Tamim 1.0%, Salahaddin 0.6%, Anbar 0.5%, Babil 0.4%, Wasit 0.2%, Dhi Qar 0.1%, Qadisiya 0.1%
- Ethnicity/Religion: 37.6% Assyrian Christian, 26.5% Sunni Arab, 12.8% Chaldean Christian, 12.4% Sunni Turkomen, 3.6% Sunni Kurd, 2.2% Shiite Turkomen, 0.8% Shiite Arab, 0.3% Yazidi Arab, 0.2% Christian Armenian, 0.2% Yazidi Kurd
Qadisiya: Security is good. In Al Taheniya village, none of the displaced go to school. 137 displaced families are drinking from the Euphrates River in the Hamza district.
- Survey of 4,637 families
- Origin: Baghdad 76.8%, Diyala 11.4%, Anbar 4.4%, Salahaddin 2.8%, Tamim 2.6%, Babil 1.6%, Wasit 0.3%, Ninewa 0.1%
- Ethnicity/Religion: Shiite Arab 100%
Salahaddin: Security is stable. Iraqi forces are taking over many of the security duties there. There are limited attacks, suicide bombings, and murders. The city of Samarra has been broken up into sections by blast walls similar to Baghdad. Health care is limited in the province because of a lack of supplies and equipment. The water supply is reliant upon power, which is very limited. 200 displaced families in the Hay al-Nafit village don’t have sanitation.
- Survey of 15,443 families
- Origin: Baghdad 49.7%, Tamim 15.3%, Basra 12.4%, Diyala 9.5%, Salahaddin 5.3%, Anbar 1.9%, Ninewa 1.8%, Irbil 1.7%, Wasit 0.8%, Dhi Qar 0.7%, Babil 0.6%, Qadisiya 0.1%
- Ethnicity/Religion: Sunni Arab 96.5%, Shiite Arab 2.1%, Shiite Turkomen 0.8%, Sunni Kurd 0.4%, Sunni Turkomen 0.1%
Sulaymaniya: Security is good. The Turks still shell the border because of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The Rizagari area has 12 displaced families that have left for their homes in Baghdad due to better security and the high cost of living. Drought is hitting the province.
- Survey of 5,843 families
- Origin: Baghdad 46.1%, Diyala 45.9%, Anbar 2.9%, Ninewa 1.9%, Salahaddin 0.9%, Tamim 0.7%, Basra 0.5%, Babil 0.4%, Wasit 0.2%, Dhi Qar 0.1%, Sulaymaniya 0.1%, Karbala 0.1%
- Ethnicity/Religion: Sunni Arab 62.5%, Sunni Kurd 22.6%, Shiite Arab 10.5%, Shiite Kurd 2.7%, Sunni Turkomen 0.3%, Sabean Mandean Arab 0.3%, Chaldean Christian 0.2%, Christian Arab 0.1%
Tamim: Security is not good. There is still ethnic tension between Kurds and Arabs that leads to violence. There have been murders, kidnappings, arrests, and checkpoints in October. 28 displaced families living in the Al-Sayada village, which had family members killed for working in the Sons of Iraq, are squatting and may be evicted if they don’t pay rent. The mayor has helped them out, but one family still hasn’t been able to pay. That family could be arrested as a result. There are 15 displaced families in the Al-Se-edi village, which had four family members killed by Al Qaeda in Iraq for working with the Sons of Iraq. 41 Kurdish displaced families from Irbil are in Al Qadeem neighborhood. They fled after 20 from their group were killed. They have no aid, and are living in mud houses. 170 displaced families are in the Al Tamar village having fled insurgents. Drought is also hitting that area. The original 70 families of the village are also living in mud huts.
- Survey of 10,038 families
- Origin: Diyala 26.7%, Tamim 19.4%, Baghdad 16.8%, Salahaddin 15.8%, Ninewa 15.2%, Anbar 3.9%, Irbil 1.3%, Basra 0.3%, Sulaymaniya 0.2%, Babil 0.1%
- Ethnicity/Religion: Sunni Arab 50.1%, Sunni Kurd 21.0%, Shiite Turkomen 17.4%, Sunni Turkomen 3.1%, Shiite Arab 3.0%, Assyrian Christian 1.9%, Shiite Kurd 1.3%, Chaldean Christian 0.9%, Armenian Christian 0.2%, Yazidi Arab 0.1%
Wasit: Security is good. Schools are suffering in Al Qadya and Al Iroba village. 45 displaced family in Maryosh village lack water. 33 displaced families in Mirzabad village and 130 displaced families in Al-Makharba village lack water.
- Survey of 12,669 families
- Origin: Baghdad 64.5%, Diyala 32.9%, Babil 1.0%, Anbar 0.7%, Tamim 0.5%, Salahaddin 0.3%, Basra 0.1%
- Ethnicity/Religion: Shiite Arab 99.7%, Shiite Kurd 0.2%, Sunni Arab 0.1%
Alsumaria, “Iraq works on return of brainpower,” 11/6/08
International Organization for Migration, “IOM Emergency Needs Assessments, Post February 2006 Displacement In Iraq,” 11/1/08
Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, “Quarterly report to the United States Congress,” 10/30/08