IOM Iraq Informal Sites Assessment 2020-2021: A comparative analysis of informal sites in Iraq from Integrated Location Assessment Rounds 5 and 6

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This report provides a detailed overview of the conditions faced by IDP and returnee families residing in informal sites at the time of data collection of the Integrated Location Assessment 6 (ILA 6, May-July 2021), as well as a summary of trends since the ILA 5 (July-August 2020). The ILA informal sites assessment was conducted in two parts. First, the location, population and shelter type of all informal sites was collected nationwide.
Second, if the informal site contained 15 or more families, a full assessment of the location was conducted using a longer form designed in partnership with the Cluster members of the Inter-Cluster Coordination Group (ICCG). In this report, data attributed to “fully assessed sites” refers only to sites with 15 or more families.
As of July 2021, ILA 6 recorded a total of 418 informal sites. IDP families were present in 389 informal sites and returnee families were present in 31 sites. Dahuk Governorate contains 38 per cent of the informal sites nationwide (160), with Ninewa and Salah al-Din accounting for a further 18 per cent and 12 per cent, respectively (76 and 52 sites).
Overall, 13,533 families were recorded as residing in informal sites in ILA 6 (12,490 IDP families and 1,043 returnee families). The largest share of this population is in Anbar Governorate (28%), followed by Dahuk (24%) and Salah al-Din (14%).
Between ILA 5 and ILA 6, the number of families residing in informal sites decreased by four per cent, from 14,067 to 13,533. In the same period, the number of informal sites decreased by 15 per cent , from 490 to 418 sites. The number of informal sites fell significantly in Dahuk Governorate, where there were 41 fewer sites in recorded in ILA 6. This decline is attributed to returns, predominantly to Sinjar district in Ninewa Governorate, as well as families entering camps to receive assistance, and families moving to non-critical shelters which, in a limited number of cases, was their rehabilitated residence of origin. Other governorates where the number of informal sites declined included Salah al-Din which recorded 25 fewer sites, and Kirkuk Governorate, with 19 fewer sites. Baghdad Governorate, however, recorded 11 new informal sites in ILA 6, with eight of these located in the district of Mahmoudiya.
Over a quarter of fully assessed informal sites witnessed new arrivals in the 12 months between ILA 5 and ILA 6 (26%, 57 sites). Arrivals from camps were recorded in 13 per cent of fully assessed informal sites (27 sites). Arrivals from camps were most common in the districts of Hatra,
Al-Ba’aj, and Sinjar in Ninewa Governorate, and Mahmoudiya in Baghdad Governorate.
The number of sites in which the majority of families are unable to meet basic needs nearly doubled between the ILA 5 and ILA 6 assessments, from 41 per cent to 81 per cent (93 to 176 sites). Dahuk Governorate exhibited the most significant rise, from 12 per cent (11 sites) in which less than half of families can meet their basic needs in ILA 5 to 92 per cent of sites (57) in ILA 6. Despite the vulnerability of those residing in informal sites, 29 per cent of fully assessed informal sites reported having received assistance in the past 3 months, predominantly from humanitarian organisations (19%) and government authorities (10%).
The majority of IDPs in 84 per cent of informal sites intend to stay in their current location in the short term (202 sites). Of the nine per cent of informal sites where the majority of IDP families intend to return in the 6 months following the assessment (19 sites), two thirds of them are in Samarra district (12). If they were to receive the assistance necessary to return, most or all families would return in 45 per cent of sites (83).
This is notably higher than the 25 per cent of sites that provided the same answer in ILA 5 (54). The majority of families were undecided about their intentions beyond six months after the assessment (56%, 114 sites). The majority of families had the long-term intention to return in only 18 per cent of sites (37). This intention was most common in Samarra, Kirkuk, Al-Musayab, and Ramadi districts.
The report concludes that the need for further research and concerted programming to effectively support those who are displaced in or have returned to informal sites is clear, as is the increased vulnerability of those populations in the data collected for ILA 5 and ILA 6. Targeted interventions will be required to curb these trends of deteriorating conditions in the areas highlighted in this report.