The Directorate of Civil Affairs, Passports and Residency in Ninewa Governorate, with the support of UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, inaugurated today 31 October 2019, the first national Identification Document centre in Ninewa Governorate, which will provide Iraqi citizens with a national ID card. This national card will replace two civil documents – civil ID status data and citizenship certificate.
The national card will help thousands of Iraqis who lost civil documentation during recent conflicts, allowing them to prove their identity, and to gain access to public services and government assistance programmes. It will also reduce identity fraud and administrative and legal problems that occur due to name similarities.
Many internally displaced persons have lost, damaged or not been able to obtain civil status documentation, including birth certificates, as a result of factors linked to their forced displacement. More than 600.000 people across Ninewa will benefit from this initiative by the end of 2020.
Across Iraq, 8 per cent of out-of-camp IDP households, 10 per cent of camp-based IDP households, 8 per cent of returnee households and 6 per cent of households who remained in their homes reported missing documentation, without which they are unable to exercise basic civil rights.
“The lack of civil documentation among internally displaced persons is a major programmatic priority for UNHCR and other humanitarian protection actors in Iraq,” said Ayman Gharaibeh, UNHCR Representative in Iraq. “It has the potential to dramatically improve the lives of Ninewa’s citizens, as well as assist local authorities ensure the provision of public services.”
Since 2017, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has been working with the Iraqi Ministry of Interior to implement mobile documentation centres in Ninewa, Erbil, Duhok, Sulaymaniyah, and with legal aid partners to assist thousands of displaced families across Iraq to acquire essential legal documents that they need to prove their identity, as well as to access public services and assistance. In addition to this first centre in East Mosul, new centres will soon be opened in Bartella, Nimrud, Zummar, Rabia’a, Hammam Al Alil and Qayyarah sub-districts.
Firas Al Khateeb
+961 3 009 940 (Baghdad)