UN Migration Agency, Iraqi Government Inaugurate Community Resource Centres in Mosul, Anbar
Erbil – In the year since Mosul was liberated from Daesh in July 2017, around 870,000 people have returned to the city, according to IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM).
As part of the effort to support displaced persons returning home and other vulnerable populations in Daesh occupation-affected areas in Iraq, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the Government of Iraq’s Joint Coordination and Monitoring Centre (JCMC) launched two Community Resource Centres in Mosul, which suffered widespread destruction at the hands of Daesh and during the military operations to liberate the area. Through the partnership, IOM and JCMC established a third centre in Fallujah, Anbar Governorate.
In many neighbourhoods of West Mosul, homes and shops have been reduced to rubble. Even those citizens with the resources to rehabilitate their property are unable to do so due to fears it has been booby-trapped by Daesh or is contaminated with explosive remnants of war.
The official ceremony to inaugurate the centres took place on Wednesday, 25 July, in west Mosul. The two centres are located in Al-Jadeda, a severely affected neighbourhood in West Mosul, and in Tahrir, a neighbourhood of east Mosul where returnees live alongside internally displaced persons from other parts of Ninewa. The ceremony brought together representatives from the Government of Iraq, international humanitarian agencies and the local community.
“While the Government of Iraq, the UN and NGOs continue to scale up their support to Mosul, we know that returnee families often struggle to find out what services are available, or how these services can be accessed,” said Siobhan Simojoki, the Head of IOM Iraq’s Mosul Office.
“These Community Resource Centres will help to address this issue and provide information, referral, and a priority set of centralized services. The centres will be open to all people in need – whether returnees, host communities or internally displaced,” added Simojoki.
“The road to recovery in Iraq is long and challenging,” said Marwan Hadi Ahmed, assistant director of the JCMC representational office in Ninewa.
“The community-based services that Community Resource Centres are providing will support communities to recover from the consequences of Daesh,” he added.
In addition to the two centres in Mosul, IOM and JCMC have opened another in Fallujah, Anbar Governorate. Fallujah was also on a major fault line in the battle against Daesh and suffered widespread destruction and displacement. Since June 2016, when the city was liberated from Daesh, more than 500,000 people have returned.
Over the coming months, a network of partners will collaborate with the JCMC to establish Community Resource Centres in other areas with a high number of returns. These partners are the ACTED, Danish Refugee Council (DRC), Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), Terre des hommes (TDH) Lausanne and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Since Mosul was liberated in July 2017, IOM has implemented 18 community service projects in the city’s most affected neighbourhoods, rehabilitating essential services and infrastructure such as water networks, garbage collection, factories, schools and parks. IOM is also rehabilitating two youth centres in Mosul, supporting families to repair damaged homes, and providing essential medical supplies and health services through two mobile clinics and a specialized ophthalmology unit at Wadi Hajar General Hospital.
“IOM is the first to acknowledge that current support falls short of needs, and that families who have suffered for years in exile or under Daesh occupation need more,” said Gerard Waite, IOM Iraq Chief of Mission. “Despite the significant efforts of the government of Iraq and the generosity of donors however, Mosul’s recovery remains underfunded, and more needs to be done to close the gap.”