Impact of ISIS war

Dozens of Yazidi families return to Sinjar with IOM support

DUHOK – 79 Yazidi families residing in displacement camps in Duhok province are beginning their journey back to the Sinjar district. These families are receiving financial aid and housing assistance to facilitate their resettlement, with each family granted $1,240 by the International Organization for Migration. This effort is a key part of broader initiatives to support displaced persons in returning and rebuilding their lives following the devastation caused by ISIS.

The IOM, founded in 1951, plays a critical role globally in migration management, offering humanitarian assistance and advocating for migrants’ rights. Its efforts are aimed at ensuring migrations are processed efficiently and respectfully, supporting the integration of migrants into new societies, and responding swiftly to emergencies.

Pir Dayan Jaafar, the Director of Displacement and Migration in Duhok, detailed the support mechanisms in place for these returning families, highlighting both financial assistance and housing aid for those whose homes were lost or damaged.

The displacement of people from Sinjar to Duhok was primarily the result of the violent invasion by ISIS in 2014, which targeted the Yazidi community among others. This brutal assault led to a humanitarian crisis, with thousands killed, kidnapped, or forced to flee their homes. The Yazidis, in particular, faced severe persecution due to their religious beliefs, leading to mass displacement within Iraq. Duhok, a province within the Kurdistan Region, became a refuge for many of these internally displaced persons, providing a relatively safe haven but also leading to overcrowded conditions in camps set up to accommodate the influx of refugees.

A  Nineveh Provincial Council meeting, attended by Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani in Sinjar, where 50 billion dinars ($33m) were allocated for local service projects. This funding is a substantial step towards the region’s reconstruction and prosperity, addressing the extensive damage inflicted by ISIS.

The conflict led damage to homes, infrastructure, and cultural heritage sites. The systematic destruction aimed to erase the identity and history of the Yazidi people and other targeted groups, leaving the region in urgent need of rehabilitation. Reconstructing Sinjar is not only a matter of physical rebuilding but also an essential step towards facilitating the return of displaced persons, and supporting the long-term recovery of the community.

The Yazidi community has seen approximately 337,000 of its members living in 20 camps across Duhok in the Kurdistan Region. These camps were established to provide shelter, food, medical care, and essential services to families and individuals displaced by ISIS’s violence. Despite the support, life in camps presents challenges, including limited access to education, employment, and long-term housing solutions.