Community Resource Centres to Consolidate Support for Returnee Reintegration in Iraq

Posted: 
05/01/18

Baghdad — Over 3.6 million Internally Displaced Persons—or IDPs—have returned to safe areas of the country after being displaced by conflict. It is critical that areas of origin are supported by the international humanitarian community.

The Government of Iraq’s Joint Coordination and Monitoring Centre (JCMC), in partnership with the international community, is establishing Community Resource Centres (CRCs) to provide services at the community level in areas receiving large numbers of returning internally displaced persons.

The centres, which will operate under the aegis of the JCMC, are designed to serve as coordination, information, and referral hubs where all community members (IDPs, returnees and host community members) can receive information on emergency, recovery and stabilization services – provided by government and humanitarian partners - to assist in the return and reintegration process within communities.

The CRCs aim to support the Government of Iraq, at the local and national level, in the coordination and delivery of services to facilitate safe, voluntary, and sustainable socio-economic reintegration of returnees in some of the most vulnerable communities affected by the conflict in Iraq.

The first CRCs will be established in Ninewa and Anbar, followed by other governorates which have been significantly affected by the conflict and population displacement.

“These community based centres will enable us to most effectively serve returnees and affected communities with essential information and services,” said Abdul Ameer Mohamed Ali, Head of the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Center. “The CRCs will be jointly managed by the JCMC and humanitarian partners and will be handed over to the JCMC at a later stage.”

“We look forward to cooperating with international partners in our joint aim to develop standards in service delivery for the benefit of communities” he added. 

The JCMC and seven UN and non-governmental partners are involved in the CRCs, including: Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED), Danish Refugee Council (DRC), IOM, the UN Migration Agency, Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), People in Need (PIN), Terre des hommes (TDH) Lausanne, and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Partners will work together in a Steering Committee to facilitate a unified approach, with individual CRCs facilitated by one partner. IOM is chair of the Steering Committee, and the co-chair position, currently held by NRC, rotates every six months.

The JCMC will ensure the participation of government actors by coordinating with government ministries and institutions on service provision.

“The return and recovery process for hundreds of thousands of vulnerable families have placed a heavy burden on return communities and the Government of Iraq,” said Gerard Waite, IOM Iraq Chief of Mission.

“Through the CRCs, we aim to combine and offer our knowledge, skill sets and services to improve the resilience of those conflict-affected communities,” he added. 

Due to the varying conditions in areas of return, the CRCs will offer a variety of services and activities, targeted to meet needs and address gaps in communities.

The services provided by CRC partners will include: identifying priority activities and services; provision of information to affected communities and soliciting feedback on services and information needs by the community; supporting multi‐sectoral coordination among international partners and liaison with different government agencies; and promoting an area‐based approach to reintegration support.

“CRCs will strengthen cooperation and coordination between government and humanitarian actors in the fields of information management and community engagement,” said Petr Kostohryz, NRC’s Country Director in Iraq.

“With a multi-sectoral approach, we will improve the delivery of essential public services and strengthen the capacity of government entities to eventually take over and manage the centres,” Kostohryz added.

More than 415,000 displaced people have returned to their areas of origin in the first quarter of 2018. Since the beginning of the 2014 crisis, more than 2.1 million Iraqis have been displaced, and more than 3.6 million displaced Iraqis have returned to their areas of origin.

For more information please contact:

JCMC: Sadiq Jawad al-Zubaidi, jcmccomsec@gmail.com, +964 770 725 4998

IOM: Sandra Black, sblack@iom.int, +964 751 234 2550

NRC: Alexandra Saieh, alexandra.saieh@nrc.no, +964 751 740 7636

  • Children playing games in an internally displaced peoples camp. Photo: IOM

  • Distrubution of relief kits to IDPs in Ninewa governorate who are returning there. Photo: Raber Y Aziz/IOM Iraq