Internally displaced persons in Iraq, IDP Working Group update - 24 Mar 2008

Situation Report
Originally published


Main Issues

- It is estimated that over 2.77 million people are currently displaced inside Iraq as of 20 March 2008. Of these, 1.2 million were displaced before 2006 and more than 1.5 million were displaced in 2006 and 2007; less than 1% was displaced in 2008.

- New displacement is continuing at a much lower pace than for the past two years but secondary displacement has been reported in Baghdad.

- Most of the Post-2006 IDPs come from Baghdad and Diyala.

- While the majority of Pre-2006 IDPs were displaced in the three Northern Governorates (53%) and in the South (33%), 58% of Post-2006 IDPs are displaced in the six Central Governorates, 27% in the South and 15% in the three Northern Governorates.

- Percentage of IDPs compared to total estimated governorate population is highest in Dahuk, Baghdad, Wassit and Kerbala.

- More than 560,000 IDPs are living in Baghdad Governorate. 40% of surveyed IDPs in Baghdad have fled due to direct threats and forced eviction from their property, while between 10% and 17% have fled due to generalized violence and fear.

- At present, large-scale return movements have not been noted. Actual numbers of IDP and refugee returnees are currently uncertain. According to the latest figures released by MoDM, nearly 6,000 IDP families have returned so far (2% of Post-2006 IDPs) and approximately 45,000 individuals have returned from Syria in 2007.The actual numbers are likely higher.

- Returnees mostly return to those neighbourhoods/districts/governorates under control of members of their sect. To date, only a few families returned to areas under control of another sect. No members of minority groups (e.g., Christians, Sabaean-Mandaeans and Yazidis) have been reported to be among the returnees.

- According to the current estimation, the number of IDPs in need of adequate shelter and food is now higher than one million. In addition, over one million cannot access regular income. Around 300,000 individuals have no access to clean water and are in need of legal aid to enable them to access other basic services.