Government encourages them to return home

One million IDPs in camps across Iraq

BAGHDAD — Approximately one million internally displaced persons (IDPs) are living in and outside camps across Iraq, the Iraqi parliament’s Committee on Migration and Social Reconciliation reported on Sunday.

Committee member Sharif Suleiman told the official newspaper Al-Sabah that the committee is monitoring the conditions of displaced families both inside and outside camps. He noted that the number of displaced people outside the Kurdistan Region camps exceeds those within.

“The total number of displaced persons ranges between 800,000 and one million throughout the country,” Suleiman said, with many residing in Kurdistan Region camps and others in Nineveh, Anbar, the outskirts of Baghdad, and other provinces.

Suleiman emphasized that the committee is working to improve the conditions of the displaced to enable their voluntary return to their original areas. “Ending their suffering is one of the main objectives of the parliamentary committee at present,” he highlighted.

Ali Abbas Jahangir, the official spokesperson for the Ministry of Migration and Displacement, stated that the ministry is working to resolve the displacement crisis in ways that align with the government program and the national plan for voluntary return. He said the ministry announced the continuation of registration for voluntary return to close displacement camps in Kurdistan by the scheduled deadline of July 30.

In January 2024, the ministry introduced several measures to encourage people to return, including a one-time payment of four million Iraqi dinars per family, potential government employment opportunities, social security benefits, and interest-free loans for small businesses. These incentives aim to support displaced families in resettling and rebuilding their lives.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) published a report on May 13, stating that the closing of the camps in the Kurdistan Region will imperil the rights of many camp residents from the northern Sinjar district. The Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Interior Ministry reports that the 23 camps throughout the Kurdistan Region currently accommodate around 157,000 individuals, many of whom originate from Sinjar.