Iraq - IOM this week added its support to the growing number of Iraqis fleeing violence in the north and seeking safety in the central and southern areas of the country. Roughly 11 per cent of all displaced Iraqis – 105,000 individuals – have moved to governorates south of Baghdad, according to IOM’s updated Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) assessment data.
The displacement is due to a variety of reasons. Some Mosul families were displaced from Baghdad in 2006 and are simply returning home. Others move south to be closer to support networks of family and friends. Most arrive with limited cash reserves and personal belongings. Those who do not find accommodation with relatives or friends are staying in mosques, schools, parks and other public spaces.
IOM Iraq continues to implement an Iraq-wide response to the displacement crisis. Intervention mechanisms include camp coordination and management, non-food item distribution and IDP relocation to new camps, such as the Al-Nahrawan camp in Missan Governorate.
In Central Iraq, IOM delivered 500 non-food relief (NFI) kits to families in Baghdad, Karbala and Najaf including 200 kits to Sadr City, a largely Shi’a suburb on the eastern side of Baghdad.
IOM Iraq coordinated its efforts with the Baghdad Provincial Council, the Deputy Governor’s office, the Government of Iraq Emergency Cell, the Baghdad Municipal Council, and community policing teams to coordinate distribution and identify vulnerable families arriving from Ninewa, Kirkuk, Salah Al-Din and Diyala.
In the southern city of Basra, IOM Rapid Assessment and Response Teams (RARTs) delivered 255 NFI kits to Christian IDP families from Mosul on 10-11th September. Efforts in Basra were coordinated between IOM, the Basra Emergency Cell Committee, the Basra Governor’s Office and the Ministry of Migration and Displacement (MoMD).
Also in the South, IOM is constructing 15 pre-fabricated bathrooms, cooking facilities and toilets, delivering air coolers, ceiling fans, gas tubes, water coolers, water tanks, and trash bins in Missan governorate. IOM also is providing reverse osmosis units to respond to the urgent need for potable water.
In partnership with MoMD and UNHCR in Basra and Missan, RARTs have also created a master list of the most vulnerable families in order to facilitate better service delivery.
“The coordination with governorate, as well as local authorities, is essential for IOM in ensuring adequate access to populations in need. We are grateful for the cooperation we have received so far and are aiming at deepening and widening our interaction with local authorities,” says Dr. Thomas Lothar Weiss, IOM Chief of Mission in Iraq.
With more requests pouring in from local governments in Diyala, Qadissiya, Wassit and Babylon, IOM RARTs continue to monitor movements and gather data about new displacements in central and southern Iraq to assess the situation and generate appropriate responses.
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