A comprehensive count carried out jointly by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the United Nations indicates that some 850,000 Iraqis have been displaced and sought refuge in all three Kurdistan Region governorates since January 2014.
According to the Kurdish Ministry of Planning and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) the vast majority of the recently displaced people – 64 per cent – have sought refuge in the Duhok Governorate.
Of the 1.8M Iraqis displaced nationwide, it is estimated that over 600,000 people were displaced this month alone. This increase is due to an upsurge of violence in various parts of the country, particularly Ninewa, Diyala and Anbar.
The latest figures compiled by the Kurdish Regional Government under the leadership of the Minister of Planning and IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix, show that the displaced population are now living in more than 1,000 sites in the Kurdistan region of Iraq alone.
The latest waves of IDPs to the Kurdistan region, more than 850,000 in 2014, plus some 216,000 Syrian refugees registered by the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), and previous large population movements of around 335,000 which took place prior to 2014,brings the total number of people who sought refuge in the Kurdistan region of Iraq to 1.4 million. These latest waves add to the very heavy burden borne by the people and government of the KR-I.
Duhok Governorate’s seven districts now host over half a million people seeking shelter, food, water, medicine and protection after the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) seized territory in Sinjar and neighbouring communities prompting them to flee. Since August, 89 per cent of all displaced in the Kurdistan region went to the Duhok Governorate.
Due to the rapid influx of people and their wide dispersal throughout the Kurdistan region, it has been difficult for the regional government and UN agencies to quickly conduct an accurate count of the displaced population.