URBAN DISPLACEMENT IN IRAQ: OVERVIEW

The Urban Displacement in Iraq series aims to support evidence-based planning for the humanitarian community and the Government of Iraq, and to inform the response to protracted displacement. This report presents a comparative analysis of the characteristics of IDPs in protracted urban displacement and conditions across 10 cities. The report also analyses the drivers of urban displacement, including factors in the area of displacement, barriers to return in the primary areas of origin and other socio demographic factors that impact upon the realisation of the IDPs’ preferred durable solution.

URBAN DISPLACEMENT IN FEDERAL IRAQ

As displacement within Iraq becomes increasingly protracted for internally displaced persons (IDPs), further research is needed to understand its causes and put forward potential durable solutions. The United Nations (UN) International Organisation for Migration Displacement Tracking Matrix (IOM DTM) undertook this research project “Urban Displacement in Iraq” with the primary objective of supporting evidence-based planning for the humanitarian community and the government of Iraq, and to inform the response to protracted displacement in this post-emergency phase. This report will detail findings from urban centres within the Federal Iraq. An equivalent report is available below for urban centres assessed within the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI).

URBAN DISPLACEMENT IN THE KURDISTAN REGION OF IRAQ

As displacement within Iraq becomes increasingly protracted for internally displaced persons (IDPs), further research is needed to understand its causes and put forward potential durable solutions. The United Nations (UN) International Organisation for Migration Displacement Tracking Matrix (IOM DTM) undertook this research project “Urban Displacement in Iraq” with the primary objective of supporting evidence-based planning for the humanitarian community and the government of Iraq, and to inform the response to protracted displacement in this post-emergency phase. This report will detail findings from urban centres within the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). An equivalent report is available for urban centres assessed within Federal Iraq.

Urban Displacement in Iraq: Methodological Overview

As displacement within Iraq becomes increasingly protracted for internally displaced persons (IDPs), further research is needed to understand its causes and put forward potential durable solutions.The United Nations (UN) International Organization for Migration Displacement Tracking Matrix (IOM DTM) undertook this study of urban displacement in Iraq to support evidence-based planning for the humanitarian community and the Government of Iraq, and to inform a more comprehensive understanding of protracted displacement in this post-emergency phase.

PROTRACTED DISPLACEMENT IN IRAQ: REVISITING CATEGORIES OF RETURN BARRIERS

IOM conducted an extensive review of data and literature relating to protracted displacement in Iraq, with the aim of providing an updated overview of the displacement context and a categorization framework highlighting the different types of barriers that IDPs face in returning to their area of origin. Its objective is to inform durable solutions strategy development and planning relating to the resolution of protracted displacement in Iraq. Protracted Displacement in Iraq: Revisiting Categories of Return Barriers follows the Categorizing Protracted Displacement in Iraq report, which was produced by and IOM, Social Inquiry and the Iraq Returns Working Group in November 2018.At the center of this report is the “Framework: Categories of Return Barriers.” The framework has been developed in liaison with durable solutions experts in Iraq, and draws upon key data sources to demonstrate the extent that IDPs face barriers to returning home under the following categories: housing, livelihoods, basic services, social cohesion, and safety and security. The framework highlights how the severity of barriers vary according to IDPs’ locations of origin and displacement, and identifies several exacerbating factors that may impede the ability of IDPs to return home.

ACCESS TO DURABLE SOLUTIONS AMONG IDPs IN IRAQ: LIVELIHOODS AND ECONOMIC SECURITY IN DISPLACEMENT

Access to Durable Solutions Among IDPs in Iraq: Livelihoods and Economic Security in Displacement focuses on IDPs and returnees’ opportunities for livelihoods, and its effects on their ability to make ends meet. Overtime in displacement, livelihoods has become the main factor for the interviewed IDPs when consider returning to their places of origin. Without the infrastructure of a functioning economy and livelihood opportunities to return to, IDPs are choosing to stay in host communities where they see more economic security, even if tenuous or temporary. Nearly all IDP households in the non-camp population to which the study generalizes reported having an income from a job, but the plurality obtains it from the informal sector—one that provides little long-term security. IDPs often go into debt to make ends meet, prolonging the effects of their displacement. Families overall change their consumption patterns in displacement and larger IDP families (10 or more members) live below the UN Iraq-defined poverty line. This report is part of a larger panel study on “Access to Durable Solutions Among IDPs in Iraq” implemented since December 2015 by IOM Iraq in partnership with Georgetown University. The study has followed 4,000 displaced families living outside of camps who were displaced by ISIL between January 2014 and December 2015 and displaced to Basra, Baghdad, Sulaymaniyah and Kirkuk.

ACCESS TO DURABLE SOLUTIONS AMONG IDPs IN IRAQ: FIVE YEARS IN DISPLACEMENT

IOM has implemented a longitudinal study on entitled “Access to Durable Solutions Among IDPs in Iraq” since 2015 in partnership with Georgetown University in order to understand how IDPs navigate their displacement and take steps to build lasting durable solutions. This study draws from the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) framework on Durable Solutions for IDPs, which lays a foundation for government and humanitarian actors to better address the self-identified needs of IDPs.While previous reports from this study have featured the longitudinal component of the study, this report entitled Access to Durable Solutions Among IDPs in Iraq: Five Years in Displacement provides a brief update on the eight criteria and then delves more in-depth into three critical topics relating to IDP and returnee households: education, healthcare, and justice.The study offers insight into the challenges and survival strategies of Iraqi IDP families who were displaced by ISIL between January 2014 and December 2015 to the four governorates of Baghdad, Basra, Kirkuk, and Sulaymaniyah. This mixed-method project collected four rounds of data to analyze how the same 4,000 Iraqi IDP households displaced during this period attempt to access sustainable solutions to their displacement.

ACCESS TO DURABLE SOLUTIONS AMONG IDPs IN IRAQ: Unpacking the Policy Implications

The “Access to Durable Solutions Among IDPs in Iraq” panel study conducted by IOM Iraq and Georgetown University has yielded significant insight into the lived experiences of IDPs over time, the dynamics of Iraqi displacement and the changing perceptions of IDPs about their current situation as well as their aspirations for solutions. Based on the findings of the study and striving for solutions for IDPs, the Access to Durable Solutions Among IDPs in Iraq: Unpacking the Policy Implications outlines policy implications for the Iraqi government, for the national and international humanitarian community and for researchers studying displacement. The policy report also summarizes the main findings emerging from the five rounds of data collected to date. The study, which began in 2015, has followed 4,000 out-of-camp IDP households who were displaced originally to Basra, Baghdad, Sulaymaniyah and Kirkuk by ISIL between January 2014 and December 2015.

ACCESS TO DURABLE SOLUTIONS AMONG IDPs IN IRAQ: Experiences of Female-Headed Households

Access to Durable Solutions Among IDPs in Iraq: Experiences of Female-Headed Households explores life in displacement of the subset IDP families in the “Access to Durable Solutions Among IDPs in Iraq” panel study conducted by IOM Iraq and Georgetown University. The study found that by early 2020, nearly five years after being displaced, female-headed households are more likely to still be in displacement than male-headed households. To meet their basic needs, female-headed households reduce food and other expenses, and borrow money from family and friends. In addition to loans, they also rely on family, neighbors, and friends for housing, food, other expenses, as well as emotional support, transportation, and child and elder care. In terms of working to help meet their needs, the study found that female-headed households are not likely to enter the workforce because of a relatively high rate of illiteracy. Women with low levels of education express that they lack the skills to work outside the home. Some women expressed they benefited from training programs to augment their ability to earn income. Women also expressed desire for other opportunities, such as microloans, to improve their income. The ongoing study began in 2015 and has followed 4,000 displaced families living outside of camps who were displaced to Basra, Baghdad, Sulaymaniyah and Kirkuk.

URBAN DISPLACEMENT IN IRAQ: A PRELIMINARY ANALYSIS

Further information is required to better understand the underlying causes of protracted displacement and the actions needed to enable durable solutions – whether to return to areas of origin (AoO), integrate into areas of displacement (AoD), or move to a third location. IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), the Returns Working Group (RWG) and Social Inquiry (SI) have been working toward this objective, producing in November 2018 the first report “Reasons to Remain: Categorizing Protracted Displacement in Iraq,” which established a categorization framework for protracted displacement to enable future study. This report was followed by a number of publications on this topic, aiming among other things to identify the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) that fall into each category, where they can be found, and most importantly, where they are from.2 Nonetheless, information gaps remain in terms of understanding displacement in urban contexts where a large proportion of IDP families are concentrated throughout the country.To address this gap, DTM now aims to establish a breakdown of the remaining out-of-camp IDP caseload in the main urban centres of displacement to better understand the potential for durable solutions.3 Ten urban locations across eight of the main governorates of displacement have been selected for the assessment: Erbil city, Mosul city, Kirkuk city, Sulaymaniyah metropolitan, Baghdad city + Abu Graib, Zakho town, Dahuk city, Tooz Khormatu town, Tikrit city and Baquba city.The assessment will take into consideration geographic linkages to areas of origin; obstacles to return including demographic changes; the presence of armed actors and ethno-religious tensions; and the potential for durable solutions to displacement, including local integration. The findings generated from this project will assist both the government and the international community to better identify and target IDPs for appropriate assistance, as well as to better advocate for recognizing IDPs’ preferred durable solutions to long-term displacement.

ACCESS TO DURABLE SOLUTIONS AMONG IDPS IN IRAQ: EXPERIENCES APPLYING TO COMPENSATION

Access to Durable Solutions Among IDPs in Iraq: Experiences Applying to Compensation delves into self-reported levels of damage to housing and property among IDPs and sampled returnees and their experiences with the compensation process.IDPs’ knowledge of the compensation claim process increased significantly between 2016 and 2018, with IDPs and sampled returnees who have higher damage to their property being more likely to apply. Despite greater knowledge about the process and an increase in compensation claims submitted by both IDPs and sampled returnees, the process is still considered complicated and lengthy. Also, most IDPs and sampled returnees are only aware of and have applied to compensation for Housing, Land and Property claims but remain unaware of other compensation categories such as compensation for dead or missing family members.A majority of both IDP and sampled returnee families who have applied have not received a verdict on their application. Among those whose claims were rejected, the main reason given was that the application lacked necessary documents, such as police reports and proof of damage.The findings of this brief report are part of the “Access to Durable Solutions Among IDPs in Iraq,” a longitudinal study implemented since December 2015 by IOM Iraq in partnership with Georgetown University. The study has followed 4,000 displaced families living outside of camps who were displaced to Basra, Baghdad, Sulaymaniyah and Kirkuk.

WHEN AFFORDABILITY MATTERS: THE POLITICAL ECONOMY AND ECONOMIC DECISION MAKING OF IRAQI IDPS

This study by IOM Iraq, Returns Working Group (RWG), and Social Inquiry delves into the various issues and challenges that IDPs consider when assessing the affordability of return, and accordingly, the calculations they make when considering whether or not to remain in displacement. According to the report findings, affordability is less an economic calculation than a holistic concept comprised of multiple factors that determine safety and wellbeing. While barriers to return, such as destroyed housing and inadequate economic opportunities, are critical components of affordability, it is crucial also to consider the tenuous yet viable networks and safety nets constructed by IDPs in displacement that also contribute to their decision to remain. The notion of overcoming not only financial losses but destroyed social resources and stressful memo¬ries all factor into the analysis that IDPs make when they consider the affordability of return. Thus, the interviewed IDPs understand affordability based on perceptions of conditions at home as well as the resources and mitigation measures available in areas of displacement. Understanding the context behind an internally displaced person’s (IDP) stated financial inability to return helps to elucidate their reasons for not returning, as well as the impact of other related political and economic factors on their decision-making process and the pursuit of durable solutions.

ACCESS TO DURABLE SOLUTIONS AMONG IDPS IN IRAQ: FOUR YEARS IN DISPLACEMENT

IOM has implemented a Longitudinal Study on Durable Solutions for IDPs in Iraq since 2015 in partnership with Georgetown University (Washington DC, the United States) in order to understand how IDPs navigate their displacement and take steps to build lasting durable solutions. This study, entitled “Access to Durable Solutions Among IDPs in Iraq” draws from the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) framework on Durable Solutions for IDPs, and lays the foundation for government and humanitarian actors to better address the self-identified needs of IDPs.The study offers insight into the challenges and survival strategies of Iraqi IDP families who were displaced by ISIL between January 2014 and December 2015 to the four governorates of Baghdad, Basra, Kirkuk, and Sulaymaniyah. This mixed-method project collected four rounds of data to analyze how the same 4,000 Iraqi IDP households displaced during this period attempt to access sustainable solutions to their displacement. Many of these families remain in displacement, some have returned, and others have moved to alternative locations.This report delves into the progress made by IDPs remaining in displacement as well as sampled returnee populations now residing in their areas of origin. It offers key findings related to eight aspects of durable solutions to displacement: 1. Safety and Security, 2. Standard of Living, 3. Livelihood and Employment, 4. Housing, Land and Property, 5. Documentation, 6. Family Separation/Reunification, 7. Participation in Public Affairs, and 8. Access to Justice. By analyzing the changes IDPs have experienced and the tactics they employ over four years in each of these categories, the report reveals remaining challenges and promising avenues of support to best address the needs of IDPs.

ACCESS TO DURABLE SOLUTIONS AMONG IDPS IN IRAQ: MOVING IN DISPLACEMENT

IDPs who change location of displacement but do not return to their district of origin move to find jobs and secure livelihoods, supported by their family networks. They may visit their original homes, but the vast majority have not tried to live in them again. Some are “in process” returnees, meaning they have returned to areas very close to their original homes. They have also witnessed higher levels of damage to their housing, land and property than returnees; they may want to return home but cannot do so because their homes are too badly damaged.The Access to Durable Solutions Among IDPs in Iraq: Moving in Displacement report offers key insights into the particular challenges faced by IDP “movers”.IOM Iraq, in partnership with Georgetown University, has been implementing a Longitudinal Study on Durable Solutions for IDPs in Iraq since December 2015. The study has followed 4,000 displaced families living outside of camps who were displaced to Basra, Baghdad, Sulaymaniyah and Kirkuk; this report is part of the study.

PROTRACTED DISPLACEMENT STUDY: AN IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS OF THE MAIN DISTRICTS OF ORIGIN

In November 2018, the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) Unit, the Returns Working Group (RWG), and Social Inquiry, with input and support from the Ministry of Migration and Displacement (MoMD) within the Federal Government of Iraq, published an in-depth analysis on “Reasons to Remain: Categorizing Protracted Displacement in Iraq”. The aim of this report was to build a categorization framework for protracted displacement as the basis for future study, monitoring and policy development in relation to the resolution of internal displacement across all populations affected by the conflict in Iraq. While the report defined categories of obstacles to return and provided estimates of the proportion of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) falling in each of the categories, it did not identify where the IDPs facing these obstacles can be found, and most importantly, where they are from. To address this, IOM DTM completed an analysis on IDPs’ main areas of origin along multiple indicators, which allowed a better understanding of obstacles and reasons for non-return as well as the return outlook in these areas. DTM also completed a similar and complementary analysis on IDPs’ main areas of displacement, presented in the document “Protracted Displacement Study: An In-Depth Analysis of the Main Districts of Displacement”. As IDPs originate from 49 districts, the analysis focuses solely on the districts where the majority of the IDP caseload come from. Using the latest available DTM dataset at the time of the analysis (Dec 2018), it was found that 92% of all IDPs originate from just 23 district across 7 governorates. Each district of origin has been analyzed separately and is presented in the format of a factsheet following a common structure to facilitate comparison. This reference note, containing an overall presentation of the analyzed indicators and key findings, aims to explain and complement the factsheets.

PROTRACTED DISPLACEMENT STUDY: AN IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS OF THE MAIN DISTRICTS OF DISPLACEMENT

In November 2018, the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) Unit, the Returns Working Group (RWG), and Social Inquiry, with input and support from the Ministry of Migration and Displacement (MoMD) within the Federal Government of Iraq, published an in-depth analysis on “Reasons to Remain: Categorizing Protracted Displacement in Iraq”. The aim of this report was to build a categorization framework for protracted displacement as the basis for future study, monitoring and policy development in relation to the resolution of internal displacement across all populations affected by the conflict in Iraq.While the report defined categories of obstacles to return and provided estimates of the proportion of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) falling in each of the categories, it did not identify where the IDPs facing these obstacles can be found, and most importantly, where they are from. To address this, IOM DTM completed an analysis of the remaining out-of-camp IDP population in areas of displacement along multiple indicators, which allowed for the identification of their reasons and obstacles for non-return as well as their displacement situation. DTM also completed a similar and complementary analysis on IDPs’ main areas of origin, presented in the document “Protracted Displacement Study: An In-Depth Analysis of the Main Districts of Origin”. Although some of the analysis touches upon the situation of in-camp IDPs, two factors led to the decision to focus most of the analysis on out-of-camp IDPs. Firstly, the secondary data review showed that the knowledge base on in-camp IDPs was significantly greater than that of out-of-camp IDPs.Moreover, our analysis showed that these two groups face quite different displacement situations, leading to the decision to analyze them separately and prioritize analysis of the situation of out-of-camp IDPs. As IDPs are dispersed across over 3,000 locations in more than 100 districts of displacement, the analysis focused on the districts containing the majority of the IDP caseload Using the latest available DTM dataset at the time of the analysis (Dec 2018), it was found that 83% of all out-of-camp IDPs can be found in the top 21 districts of displacement, and 90% in the top 32 districts across 14 governorates. While all 32 districts were analyzed to better understand protracted displacement, only the top 21 will presented here as the main districts of displacement in the format of a factsheet following a common structure to facilitate comparison. This reference note, containing an overall presentation of the analyzed indicators and key findings, aims to explain and complement the factsheets.

IOM IRAQ ACCESS TO DURABLE SOLUTIONS: THREE YEARS IN DISPLACEMENT

IOM Iraq, in partnership with Georgetown University (Washington DC, the United States), has been implementing a Longitudinal Study on Durable Solutions for IDPs in Iraq since 2015, to deepen the understanding of durable solutions to internal displacement. The study, which is based on the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) framework on Durable Solutions for IDPs (2010), aims to understand how IDPs navigate over time their displacement and what it means to them to achieve durable solutions. The solutions IDPs identify themselves can in turn be adopted and supported by government and humanitarian actors alike to better address their needs.This study offers key insights into the challenges and survival strategies of Iraqi IDPs who were displaced by ISIL between January 2014 and December 2015 to the 4 governorates of Baghdad, Basra, Kirkuk, and Sulaymaniyah. A sample of 4,000 displaced families living out of camps were enrolled in the study in December 2015 and they have been interviewed four times since. Many of these are still displaced, others have returned to areas of origin while some have moved to other locations.The collaboration with Georgetown University has led to a joint publication of the Access to Durable Solutions Among IDPs in Iraq (capturing the findings of Round I) report in 2017, as well as the joint International Conference on Migration and Displacement in Iraq (2017) in partnership with the University of Kurdistan Hawler (UKH), which offered a platform for dialogue on durable solutions for Iraq’s displaced population. A forthcoming special edition of the International Migration Journalwill gather the academic articles that resulted from the conference.

Categorizing Protracted Displacement in Iraq

As the ISIL conflict ceased across Iraq, conflict-affected areas in the country experienced an uptick in returns of their internally displaced populations. The pace of this return, however, appears to be slowing, leaving the populations who still remain behind either in, or at risk of, protracted internal displacement.Protracted displacement is generally described as a condition in which internally displaced persons (IDPs) are unable to progress toward finding a resolution to their displacement. In Iraq, there are broad sets of non-exclusive and often overlapping reasons explaining why certain IDPs remain in displacement.The International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) Unit, the Returns Working Group (RWG), and Social Inquiry, with input and support from the Ministry of Migration and Displacement (MoMD) within the Federal Government of Iraq, have conducted an in-depth analysis of existing large-scale datasets to build a categorization framework for protracted displacement as the basis for future study, monitoring and policy development in relation to the resolution of internal displacement across all populations affected by the ISIL conflict in Iraq, in a manner that is rights-based and in line with international standards.The five reasons for continued displacement that emerged here are categorized around obstacles relating to housing, livelihoods and basic services, social cohesion, security, and mental health issues and psycho-social distress. These findings are explored in detail in this report.

Iraq Displacement Crisis 2014-2017

The study provides an overview of the full crisis throughout its phases – starting in December 2013 with the battle for Fallujah in Anbar, to Prime Minister Al Abadi declaring victory over ISIL in December 2017 – as well as detailed information on localized emergencies. It also analyzes the evolution in number of hosted internally displaced persons (IDPs), the changes in their sectorial needs and shelter arrangements and the areas of displacement. For the first time, the relative burden of displacement in the areas hosting IDPs is analyzed divided in three regions: KRI, North Central and South.