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Saturday, 20 April 2019 11:27

New Studies Reveal State of Protracted Displacement and Prospects for Local Integration in Iraq

Erbil — IOM Iraq recently completed two sets of complementary studies that examined the factors behind protracted displacement in Iraq, as well as the prospects of displaced Iraqi families integrating their host communities.

The first part of the study had a dual focus, analyzing both the main districts of origin and displacement, thereby identifying the obstacles to return for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and assessing how they are faring in areas of displacement and return.
The findings reveal that for 41 per cent of IDPs, Mosul and Sinjar (Ninewa) are the districts of origin, while a quarter originate from the districts of Al-Hawiga in Kirkuk, Baiji in Salah al Din, Falluja and Ramadi in Anbar, and Telafar and Al-Ba’aj in Ninewa.
• View Part 1 and Part 2 of the study on the state of Protracted Displacement.
Over six million Iraqis have been internally displaced since the ISIL conflict erupted in 2014, with slightly more than 1.7 million remaining in displacement.
While 61 per cent of these IDPs are currently considered to be in protracted displacement, meaning they have been displaced for over 3 years, nearly all of them are at risk of long-term displacement. Indeed, as the study shows, IDPs are not (or only very slowly) moving out of their districts of displacement (less than 15% since May 2018) and nearly all planned on staying in displacement for at least the next 12 months.
The main reason cited by IDPs to remain in displacement is destruction of their houses in their communities of origin; more out-of-camp (52%) IDPs reported this as an obstacle than IDPs residing in camp (38%).
The second study, jointly implemented by IOM Iraq, the Returns Working Group (RWG) and Social Inquiry, explored the extent and likelihood of local integration of long-term displaced families in Sulaymaniah and Baghdad governorates.
Determinants of IDP Integration into Host Communities in Iraq” examines the case on two fronts: the experience and perceptions of IDPs in their location of displacement, as well as the host communities’ experience. It identifies factors that make IDPs feel more integrated in their host community and, vice versa, what makes host community more likely to accept them.
The overall study shows that an IDP’s economic situation is a major factor that affects their integration. For instance, IDPs with savings during their time of displacement are more likely to feel integrated in a host community.
“We cannot develop effective strategies for durable solutions to displacement if we do not understand why many Iraqis remain in displacement, and we cannot facilitate these durable solutions if we do not understand what factors can facilitate or block the return or integration of the displaced population,” said Marta Ruedas, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq. “These studies conducted by IOM and its partners are extremely timely as the United Nations’ Country Team in Iraq is in the process of advising and assisting the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government to provide dignified, sustainable solutions for the many Iraqi families that remain in displacement.”
“UKAID is pleased to have supported IOM Iraq with these two innovative studies that shed further light on how to unlock protracted displacement in Iraq,” said Jim Carpy, Representative of the UK’s Department for International Development in Iraq. “The key findings and recommendations will inform programmes and policies aimed at advancing durable solutions to displacement.”
“Research studies like these are instrumental for humanitarian and development actors alike, to ensure sustainable integration of IDPs in their communities of origin and return,” said Gerard Waite, IOM Iraq Chief of Mission. “We are pleased to have contributed to an increased understanding on the debate of durable solutions in Iraq, and we look forward to supporting the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government in this endeavor.”

For more information please contact:
Sandra Black in IOM Iraq, Tel: +964 751 234 2550, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Additional Info

  • Agency: IOM