Iraq: Support to IDPs, Refugees, Returnees and Host Communities – IRQ191

12th December 2018

The humanitarian crisis in Iraq remains one of the largest and most volatile in the world, with a complex reality, rapidly changing vulnerabilities, and serious economic problems. However, despite the defeat of ISIS over a year ago, there is still great need for help in order to break the cycle that led to the current events. The Iraqi security situation became extremely acute with the conquest of part of the country by ISIS. The conflict altered the balance of power and split the country into those areas held by ISIS, the autonomous Kurdish areas and those controlled by the federal government. The recapture of Mosul marked the beginning of the end of the war, but Iraq remains divided. The military successes of the Iraqi army do not preclude the emergence of tensions in other areas with religious or ethnic minority groups controlling certain regions. Beyond the conflict itself, Iraq is going through a period of acute political instability, which increased after the parliamentary elections in 2018, and the struggle to form a government after the elections. The livelihood and economic opportunities of the Ninewa region have essentially been destroyed or at the very least significantly crippled. The displacement is a result of the offensive to retake Mosul and the efforts to push ISIS out of Hawijah. 1,548,108 individuals (as of 31 August 2018) have been able to return home as the liberation in the province has progressed.  ISIS’s seizure of territory in Nineveh Province, Iraq’s most ethnically and religiously diverse area, resulted in some of the worst atrocities attributed to the terrorist group, including significant inter-ethnic violence. The ongoing ethnic and religious tension, violence and crimes made almost all non-Arab or non-Muslim families reluctant to return, and those who did return are at risk of facing segregation and isolation.  The price paid by the people of Mosul is incredibly high with loss of lives, infrastructure, assets, physical psychological abuse and loss of livelihood. People lost their homes and stayed in temporary camps for years. Displacements coupled with challenges in ensuring physical protection have made the life difficult. In addition, affected people also lost their means of earning and livelihood. Prior to the conflict, the economic status of the people was low which got aggravated during the conflict. As reported by many agencies including UN, livelihood opportunities remain very limited with concern over inter-ethnic conflicts and protection issues. According to study conducted by Welfhungerlife in 2017 the Poverty rates in Northern Iraq have doubled after years of continual conflict and economic stagnation. Unemployment has tripled in many communities. Many government employees have experienced pay cuts or delays in their payments. A 40% decline in agricultural production has forced hundreds of thousands of people to migrate to urban areas for jobs and support.

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