Photo: OCHA/ Themba Linden
Total number of IDPs, 31 December 2020 (IDMC)
Photo credits: OCHA/Iason Athanasiadis
In 2008, the Government of Iraq issued a National Policy on Displacement, which articulated the rights of IDPs, outlined measures that should be taken to ensure their protection. The policy also made strides towards a vision for rehabilitation, job opportunities and durable solutions. Efforts are underway by the Ministry of Planning, under the direction of the Prime Minister, to develop a national durable solutions plan. In 2019, Iraq recorded its lowest levels of internal displacement in decades. The Government of Iraq has repeatedly stated its intention to close all the remaining IDP camps, though no official policy on camp closures has been issued publicly.
Data Collection and Analysis to Inform Efforts to End Protracted Displacement
Various data collection and analysis tools have been developed in Iraq to gain an understanding of the barriers that impede durable solutions for IDPs returning home as well as for the other 1.3 million IDPs living away from their places of origin. The Iraqi Ministry of Migration and Displacement maintains an overall list of IDPs who are receiving assistance in camps, as well as IDPs who have registered as returning to their places of origin, although there is a backlog in entering this information in the database. Information on IDPs’ locations, movements and multi-sectoral needs, both inside and outside camps, has also been gathered monthly since April 2014 (and every two months since November 2018) using IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix, alongside other humanitarian sectoral needs assessments. These diverse data sets and analysis were eventually brought together to capture a fuller picture of why displacement in Iraq had become protracted. Collectively, this knowledge has subsequently informed national efforts to develop a common strategic approach and joint programming for durable solutions. Read more
Area-based coordination mechanisms supporting durable solutions objectives in Iraq
In Iraq, a structure with area-based coordination mechanisms has been set up in areas of high return of displaced people to ensure complementarity of humanitarian, development and Government action on the ground. Area-based coordination is positioned within wider durable solutions objectives: to support a government-led response by linking with government planning at local level, supporting leadership and building capacity; undertaking joint programming targeted at tackling displacement challenges; and providing a platform to enable a scaled-up response, making it easier for agencies and organizations to work together. At the initial meeting in January 2021, area-based coordination actors agreed that a combination of factors would be taken into consideration when selecting areas for area-level planning. Such factors include the presence of humanitarian, stabilization, development and peace-building actors already on the ground to support planning processes and implement durable solutions projects; support and buy-in from local authorities; the feasibility of working in certain areas (including access challenges), and a reliable evidence base of the needs of targeted populations. In addition, the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework has added a fifth chapter on durable solutions to stress the importance of finding durable solutions to end displacement in Iraq by 2024. Read more