Governorate Reports Underline Needs of Internally Displaced Persons

IOM has compiled the first three of 15 governorate reports to
identify and prioritize areas of operation, plan emergency
responses, and design long-term, durable solutions to recent
population displacements.

The first three Monitoring and Needs Assessment Profiles carried
out in the governorates of Baghdad, Basrah and Thi-Qar confirm
shelter as the IDPs’ number one priority, followed by access
to work and food.

The reports find that in all three governorates, a majority of
displaced persons live in inadequate shelter, cannot meet monthly
rental expenses, or are facing pressures and tensions due to
overcrowded living conditions with family and friends.

In the heavily populated and volatile governorate of Baghdad,
which has seen the number of IDPs double since the bombing of the
Askariya shrine in Samarra on 22 February, only short term shelter
is needed as 75 per cent of the displaced say they wish to return
to their places of origin, where most have property. The report
notes, however, that nearly 80 per cent of displaced do not know if
their property has been destroyed, damaged or is currently

In the southern governorates of Basrah and Thi-Qar, recent
displacements have resulted in severe competition for shelter and
increased prices for housing, land and construction

The findings show that in most cases, the displaced have
maintained good relationships with host communities because most
share common religious

In all three surveyed governorates, most IDPs expressed their
desire to benefit from vocational and/or on-the-job training and
assistance to access government jobs or to find employment in brick
making or road building. Others who have business skills have
requested small loans to open small businesses.

In the more rural areas of Thi-Qar province, IDPs require
equipment, land and seeds to resume agricultural activities

Despite assistance provided by organizations, access to food
remains problematic in all three governorates with many IDPs not
having access to Public Distribution System (PDS)

The reports recommend that IDPs be registered in their places of
displacement and that agencies target the nutritional needs of
women and children.   

Other critical needs identified were access to water, health and
education for displaced children.

“Although the reports were finalized in the autumn, the
overall trends will most likely remain consistent,” says
Rafiq Tschannen, IOM Chief of Mission in Iraq. “IOM will
disseminate the remaining 12 governorate reports throughout the
month of November.” 

The number of Iraqis displaced by violence since the bombing in
Samarra in late February has now increased to an estimated 250,000
in the 15 central and southern governorates with 9,000 people on
average being displaced weekly in recent months.

Reasons for displacement are similar throughout the country. In
all three governorates, more than 94 per cent of those interviewed
say they are targeted because of their religious orientation, which
resulted in direct threats to life, abductions and

Since 22 February IOM has been assessing those displaced in the
15 governorates.  IOM monitors visit IDP tribal and community
leaders, local NGOs, local government bodies, and individual IDP
families to assess a number of issues and needs, including food,
health care, water and sanitation, documentation, and property, and
the future intentions of IDPs.

The Organization has also been carrying out emergency
distributions of food, non-food items and water assistance over the
past few months in most of the affected governorates with funding
from the US government.

However, with no sign of an end to violence or new displacement,
IOM is requesting USD 20 million to continue providing assistance
to the displaced and host communities.   

For further information, please contact:

Rafiq Tschannen

IOM Chief of Mission for Iraq

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Dana Graber

IDP Monitoring and Reintegration Officer for Iraq

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