Posted on August 3, 2016 by Editorial Staff in General, Refugees
Iraqi Arab refugees fleeing from Mosul head to Erbil, Kurdistan, June 10, 2014. Photo: AP
SULAIMANI, Kurdistan region ‘Iraq’,— In Kurdistan’s Sulaimani province the process to register Iraqi internally displaced (IDPs) who want to return home has started. There are 30,000 families in Sulaimani province displaced from southern and central Iraq who are now preparing to return to their home provinces of Anbar and Saladin.
The process started in Sulaimani city after Fallujah city and other areas of Anbar province were liberated from Islamic State (ISIS). So far, 1,500 families have registered their names to return to Anbar, according Rudaw correspondent Shadya Rassul.
Most of the Iraqi IDPs, when they arrived in Sulaimani, stayed in the city. But there are six camps in the province for IDPs and refugees.
Daban Jamal from the migration and displacement directorate in Sulaimani told Rudaw, “There are approximately 36,500 families in Sulaimani and its surrounds. Until the end of August we are updating the data to see how many have returned and how many have stayed.”
“During the update process, we have realized that in some families, a couple or three members returned home, especially those who are from Fallujah and Anbar, to check whether it’s safe and stable. They also went to see if their house is still left and can be returned to,” Jamal added.
The directorate is facilitating returns for those who are ready to go home, while at the same time making preparations for new arrivals despite the city’s distance from battle zones.
It is expected that as many as one million people will flee Mosul and Nineveh province during the battle to liberate the area from ISIS, and come to the Kurdistan Region. Despite the distance, Sulaimani is nearly 300 kilometres from Mosul, Sulaimani is preparing to receive new arrivals, just in case.
During previous offensives, the region was overwhelmed by the mass arrival of refugees and struggled to make accommodations. Sulaimani province is trying to avoid that with early preparations now in anticipation of the Mosul battle.
“We made preparations in case of the urgent flow of new refugees and IDPs. We have selected locations and provided tents between Khanaqeen and Sulaimani. This is in order to avoid stress and pressure,” Jamal explained.
For those who are returning to their homes, if they have to come back in the future, their names are still in the system and they will be helped.
“We have no conditions. When they return home, their data will remain in our system and if they return back here, we will help them again,” said Jamal.
Iraqi Migration Minister said on Tuesday that Baghdad government has given $126 million of assistance to three provinces that make up the Kurdistan Region to help the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) with the current inflow of refugees and displaced persons.