Iraq Situation: UNHCR Flash Update - 10 May 2018

Report
from UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Published on 10 May 2018

Key figures

2.1 million IDPs remain displaced since January 20141

273,933 Iraqi refugees hosted in countries in the region, with 11,916 Iraqis in camps in Al-Hassakeh Governorate, Syria

641,430 IDPs in Ninewa (including as a result of the Mosul military operation)1

59,292 IDPs currently displaced due to military operations in Hawiga (Kirkuk) and Shirqat (Salah al-Din)2 44,310 IDPs currently displaced due to military operations in west Anbar2

303,096 individuals (59,470 households) currently enrolled in ASSIST, UNHCR’s assistance tracking tool

Funding

USD 578 million requested for IDPs and Iraqi refugees in the region in 2018

Situation Update

The Iraqi government has begun implementing an Iraq-wide Security Plan for the upcoming elections on 12 May. Movements between governorates will be restricted. Between 11 and 13 May, authorities will close all airports and Iraqi airspace for domestic and international travel and impose a curfew.

Casualty figures in Iraq continue to decline. According to casualty figures recorded by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) for the month of April, 68 Iraqi civilians were killed – a 34 per cent drop since the previous month, and another 122 injured in acts of terrorism, violence and armed conflict in Iraq. Anbar was the worst affected governorate, followed by Baghdad and Kirkuk. Overall, these are the lowest figures recorded in over the last 5 years.

Population movements

Mixed patterns of displacement and return continue to occur across several governorates. Between the last week of April and first week of May, approximately 360 families (over 1,500 individuals) departed camps across Anbar, Baghdad, Erbil, Ninewa, and Salah al-Din governorates while around 90 families (300 individuals) arrived in the camps. Individuals who returned to camps (in secondary or tertiary displacement) after previously having returned home, cite damaged homes, financial constraints, the security situation, and lack of employment opportunities and services, as reasons for their movement.

Response update

A group of Iraqi refugee women and children returned to Iraq from Syria.
The 12 female-headed households (48 individuals) originally from Anbar who had been residing in Al Hol camp in Syria reached Hammam al-Alil transit site in Ninewa on 5 May. Although their homes in Anbar were destroyed and there are potential social cohesion issues due to perceived affiliation with extremists, they decided to return to Iraq with the support of the Ministry of Migration and Displaced. In the mid-term they may look for shelter in camps in Anbar, and protection partners have briefed them on available space and conditions within the camps, to facilitate an informed decision.

Mobile Civil Documentation teams continue to facilitate the issuance of civil documents to IDPs originally from Hawiga and displaced to Al-Alam camps in Salah al-Din. The team has issued 3,440 civil documents to date; more than 50 per cent of the identified needs of around 5,500 missing documents.
Some 141 IDPs have been denied documentation over suspected affiliation to extremists. UNHCR and partners are working with courts and security forces to address cases of name-similarity with other suspects.

Authorities have begun evicting IDPs families with perceived extremist affiliations from Kirkuk city to IDP camps. As of 7 May, UNHCR has recorded 46 families (235 individuals) relocated to the four IDP camps in Kirkuk. They had been residing in Kirkuk city without security clearance and lack approval to return to their areas of origin. During protection interviews, the families reported use of force and intimidation by security forces, including confiscation of documents. Meanwhile, IDPs already living in the camps are reluctant to receive the new IDPs (or to have them accommodated nearby), fearing stigmatization because of their perceived affiliation. UNHCR has been advocating with authorities to halt these evictions and secure freedom of movement from the camps to Kirkuk city, in particular to enable the children of evicted families to attend their school exams.