Rapid Assessment on Returns and Durable Solutions, Markaz Al-Garma Sub-district - Al-Forat Sub-district - Heet District - Al-Anbar Governorate, Iraq, October 2021


Situation Overview

In 2021, the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) returning to their area of origin (AoO) or being re-displaced increased, coupled with persisting challenges in relation to social cohesion, lack of services, infrastructure and - in some cases - security in AoOs. Increased returns and secondary displacement were driven primarily by the closure and consolidation of IDP camps. As of October 2021, 16 formal camps and informal sites have been closed or reclassified as informal sites since camp closures started in mid-October 2020. For the camps that remain open across Iraq, there is an ongoing planning procedure to determine their future. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM)’s returnee master list recorded over 4.5 million individuals returning to their AoOs across the country, as of September 2021.

There were no additional camp closures between January and October 2021, however IDPs continued returning or secondarily displacing. In light of these dynamics, the need to better understand the sustainability of returns, conditions for the (re) integration of IDPs and returnees, and the impact of their presence on access to services and social cohesion has been identified in the context of humanitarian and development planning.

Al-Forat Sub-district

Al-Forat is a sub-district of Heet District, located in the west of Al-Anbar Governorate. Al-Forat Sub-district is composed of a Sunni Bedouin population with a homogeneous culture, religion, and ethnicity. On August 31 2014, the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) announced the establishment of the Euphrates State (Wilaya Al-Forat from Arabic) to include the Western Anbar areas. In November 2017, the Iraqi security forces and their allies retook the sub-district from ISIL.6 According to an IOM Integrated Location Assessment (ILA) Round VI, as of July and August 2021, households residing in the assessed villages in Al-Forat (6 villages) were still somewhat concerned about possible ISIL operations in the area.

Reported Population Profile

4,128-4,431 households were residing in Al-Forat before the events of 2014.

93%-96% of households in Al-Forat are displaced since 2014.

87%-91% households displaced since 2014 had returned to Al-Forat at the time of data collection.

5-9 IDP households (AoO not specified) were displaced in Al-Forat at the time of data collection.