From 31 October to 30 November 2017:
As of 30 November 2017, the DTM has identified 2,883,738 internally displaced persons (480,623 families) displaced after January 2014, dispersed across 97 districts and 3,707 locations in Iraq. For the same period, DTM has also identified 2,759,658 returnees (459,943 families).
Overall, the total number of identified IDPs decreased by 9% (289,350 individuals). Decreases were recorded across 17 of Iraq’s 18 governorates, including drops of 25% in Erbil (90,780), 18% (59,328) in Salah al-Din, 5% (46,482) in Ninewa, and 16% (42,144) in Kirkuk.
The returnee population continued to increase steadily by 5% (135,228 individuals) during the month of November, following a surge of 15% (342,060) during the month of October. The governorate with the highest increase in the number of returnees was Ninewa with 72,684 individuals (14% increase).
Considering the available information and the DTM methodology, the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) has revised the planning figures for the humanitarian response at 2.9 million internally displaced persons.
During the month of November 2017, the number of IDPs dropped from 3.2 to 2.9 million individuals. This decrease of 9% (289,350 individuals) in the countrywide number of IDPs is the largest since the current crisis in Iraq began in 2014. The significant return trends monitored in the last few months are largely due to the retaking of almost all areas by the Iraqi Security Forces, which coupled with the improved security situation, have encouraged large groups of displaced individuals to return to their place of origin.
At the same time, organised governmental efforts to support the return movements were reported by several sources across many areas of the country. This included provision of transport assistance, facilitation in obtaining the required clearances to process the return journey, and decisions such as closing down some camps –forcing the population to leave – particularly in Anbar, Ninewa, Salah al Din and Baghdad governorates. The complex combinations of these factors are driving the significant fluctuations monitored across the country that had already emerged in previous months. However, the decrease in the displaced population was overshadowed by the outbreak of the disputed areas crisis, which at its peak generated more than 180,000 new IDPs.
A total of 131,244 IDPs (-9%) hosted in private settings, 53,982 from camps (-7%) and 51,306 from critical shelters (-14%) returned to their location of origin in November. Last year’s largest monthly decrease of IDPs, which reached 4%, was also recorded in November.
The largest decreases among populations hosted in private settings were reported in the districts of Kirkuk (-34,776 individuals), largely returning to Hawiga; in Erbil (-25,896), mostly returning to Kirkuk governorate following their displacement prompted by the handover of the disputed areas; and Tikrit (-20,544) moving back to Al Shirqat and Baji districts, as well as to Hawiga.
The camp population largely decreased in Hamdaniya (-27,840),
Falluja (-8,904), Daquq (-5,238) and Makhmur (-5,046), while the main change in critical shelter population was monitored in Tikrit, with a decrease of 28,680 individuals following the same trend highlighted above.
The main two ongoing displacement crises that were ongoing during the monitoring period were those sparked by the handover of the disputed areas from the Kurdish Peshmerga to the Iraqi Security Forces after October 15, and the Iraqi forces’ final push to retake West Anbar from ISIL, which ended in mid-November. The DTM Emergency Tracking showed that 181,782 IDPs were still displaced because of the disputed-areas crisis as of 27 November, and the number displaced in the West Anbar offensive reached 68,394 as of 28 November. As the situation is stabilising for both crises, IDP numbers are expected to continue to decrease in the next DTM round.