After Crisis, Community Resource Centres Foster Reintegration and Rehabilitation in Iraq
Jalawla – During the ISIL crisis in Iraq, 3.5 million people were displaced from their homes. Since Iraq declared victory over ISIL in December 2017, nearly 1.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) have returned to their locations of origin. But the most affected areas still suffer from the lack of services, decline in livelihood opportunities, and the destruction of public infrastructure.
To better address the return and reintegration needs of affected populations, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has established six Community Resource Centres (CRCs) in partnership with the Government of Iraq’s Joint Coordination and Monitoring Centre (JCMC) and humanitarian partners.
The sixth IOM-run CRC was inaugurated this Thursday (19/9) in Jalawla, Diyala Governorate – which has welcomed back over 220,000 returnees. Government officials, including the mayor of Jalawla, and representatives of partner local and international humanitarian organizations were in attendance.
“IOM is one of many partners working to carry out protection, health, livelihood and education programmes through the CRC network,” added IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Gerard Waite. “In coordination with the government, it’s crucial that we continue supporting vulnerable communities with durable solutions, such as long-term reintegration strategies and provision of essential services.”
The Jalawla CRC launch follows the opening of another centre in Baiji, Salah-al-Din Governorate, in early September. The centres will be open from Sunday to Thursday; working hours will be decided by implementing partners.
The centres act as assistance and interaction hubs for all these communities and the public institutions that support them: the government, United Nations agencies, nongovernmental organizations, civil society organizations and other local actors.
The CRCs aim to increase opportunities for sustainable socio-economic reintegration by facilitating service delivery that will benefit returnees, those who remain in displacement and their host communities.
Core CRC activities include awareness raising and information dissemination; legal counselling and representation; informal education activities; Housing, Land and Property counselling; livelihood, capacity and skill-building opportunities, as well as making referrals to protection, mental health and psychosocial support, and other services within the CRC coverage areas.
“The CRCs are an important part of our effort to engage with displaced individuals before and after they return, and to understand their needs so that we can provide an effective response, services and job opportunities,” said Naseer Abdel Sattar, Executive Director of the JCMC. “CRCs will help us put mechanisms in place to facilitate safe returns and the reintegration of mixed populations in affected communities.”
The Community Resource Centres in Baiji and Jalawla were established under the project SAFE RETURN – Reintegration and Recovery Assistance in Areas of Return in Iraq (AWDA AMINA), funded by the European Union. The project contributes to improving migration management in Iraq and aims to build the resilience of migrants, forcibly displaced persons and host communities.