Thursday, May 23, 2019

Surge of Displaced Returns In Iraq Spring 2019

(Anadolu)

In the spring of 2019 Iraq saw the largest number of displaced (IDPs) returning to their homes in nine months. Since the start of 2018 people going back has dramatically decreased. No reason was given for the change, but it could be a positive for a situation that had been stagnating.

In April 2019 the International Organization for Migration (IOM) counted 1,665,108 displaced. That was down 79,872 people from February. That was the most returns since July 2018 when 91,734 IDPs went home in a two month span.  

Total Number of Displaced Oct 2017-Dec 2018
Month
Total Displaced
Difference
October 2017
3,174,678

November 2017
2,883,738
-290,940
December 2017
2,615,988
-267,750
February 2018
2,317,698
-298,290
(2 months)
March 2018
2,205,252
-112,446
May 2018
2,045,718
-159,534
(2 months)
Jul 2018
1,953,984
-91,734
(2 months)
August 2018
1,920,456
-33,528
October 2018
1,866,648
-53,808
(2 months)
December 2018
1,802,832
-63,816
(2 months)
February 2019
1,744,980
-57,852
(2 months)
April 2019
1,665,108
-79,872
(2 months)

The increase was due Ninewa and Salahaddin. There 19,110 and 18,750 people went back respectively. Anbar had an additional 9,264 returns, Kirkuk had 6,540, Baghdad 1,020, and Diyala had 306.

Main Provinces With Returns

Feb 2019
Apr 2019
Difference
Ninewa
1,641,300
1,660,410
19,110
Anbar
1,294,056
1,303,320
9,264
Salahaddin
601,866
620,616
18,750
Kirkuk
323,082
329,622
6,540
Diyala
223,326
223,632
306
Baghdad
86,412
87,432
1,020


In total, 1,660,410 IDPs have gone back to Ninewa, 1,303,320 to Anbar, 620,616 to Salahaddin, 329,622 to Kirkuk, 223, 632 to Diyala, 87,432 to Baghdad, 41,070 to Irbil and 780 to Dohuk.

IDP Returns By Province
Ninewa 1,660,410
Anbar 1,303,320
Salahaddin 620,616
Kirkuk 329,622
Diyala 223,632
Baghdad 87,432
Irbil 41,070
Dohuk 780

Getting people to go back to their home areas is a priority of the Iraqi government. It has no program to help with that process however. The lack of rebuilding, reconciliation and continued security concerns has led to fewer and fewer people making the trip. The increase in checkpoints in postconflict areas has also hindered movement. In 2017 over 100,000 people were returning per month as the war came to a conclusion. Instead of that trend continuing, it has slowed until April. The numbers are still relatively low and the country will likely have around one million people permanently displaced as happened after the 2005-2008 civil war unless the Baghdad makes an about face and actually starts providing assistance.

SOURCES

International Organization for Migration, “Displacement Tracking Matrix DTM Round 108, February 2019,” 3/20/19
-, “Displacement Tracking Matrix DTM Round 109,” April 2019


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