Internal Displacement in Iraq Passes 2.8m

Iraq’s new Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) published this week recorded 2,834,676 internally displaced Iraqis from January 2014 through 25 April2015.

The majority of the new displacement identified in the two-week period was caused by conflict in the Ramadi area of Anbar governorate.

Following the outbreak of the Ramadi crisis, which occurred around 10 April, DTM tracked 133,104 individuals displaced to 15 of Iraq’s 18 governorates.

The governorates receiving the greatest number of displaced people as a result of the Ramadi crisis are Baghdad (83,172), Anbar (24,552), Babylon (7,392) and Sulaymaniyah (6,504). An estimated 65 per cent of the total population tracked as “in transit” has been recorded in this DTM report.

Within the reporting period, more than 16,000 individuals returned to the Markaz Ramadi sub-district, in the center of Ramadi district. The majority of this population cited the lack of a required sponsor to enter Baghdad as the reason they returned to Ramadi. Based on initial field reports, areas of return are under the control of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF).

Recent clashes between the ISF and armed groups also triggered displacements from Karmah district in Anbar. As of 8 May, 47,256 individuals were displaced; 94 per cent to Fallujah district and 6 per cent to Abu Ghraib district in Baghdad.

This is the second DTM report to present returnee tracking figures across Iraq. A total of 116,850 individuals (19,475 families) are monitored as having returned to their districts of origin. Diyala governorate shows the highest returnee population with 37 per cent (43,044 individuals), of which 73 per cent are reported to be returning from other areas within the governorate. Preliminary findings indicate that 77 per cent of the total returnee population resettled in their locations of former residence, while 19 per cent have returned to unfinished or abandoned buildings.

IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Thomas Lothar Weiss said:

We are deeply concerned about the new and continuing displacement in Iraq. IOM Iraq has provided over 115,000 non-food item kits since the beginning of the current crisis, and tens of thousands of displaced people have benefitted from our shelter, livelihoods, and health programme assistance.

“But the quantity of life-saving humanitarian aid available is insufficient. Funding constraints limit IOM and the humanitarian communities’ ability to offer the breadth of response required to the meet vast humanitarian needs.

“IOM is committed to provide continued assistance in coordination with the Government of Iraq and humanitarian partners in its efforts to assist displaced people.”

Salam Zidan fled from his home just outside of Ramadi in Anbar district on 19 April with his wife and six children. They left when shelling drew near to their neighbourhood. They spoke with IOM staff at a non-food item kit distribution in western Baghdad on 21 April.

We spent two days travelling to Baghdad, between walking and hiring transport. I was shot in the leg during the displacement, so I can’t work. We came with nothing. Now after this distribution we have mattresses and stoves and other items. There are no words to describe our gratitude for what IOM gave us,” he said.

The DTM is an International Organization for Migration (IOM) information management tool that gathers specific information regarding the status and location of displaced people.

(Source: UN)

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