IOM Assessment on Displacement and Returns in Iraq

As the Iraqi Government celebrated its final victory over ISIL this week, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, released a new study, which shows that 90 per cent of displaced Iraqis are determined to return home. This is similar to the long-term intentions recorded in 2016.

More than 1.3 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) have returned to their places of origin so far in 2017. In total since the start of the crisis in 2014, IOM estimates that more than 2.8 million displaced Iraqis have returned, while more than 2.9 million people remain displaced.

The IOM study, Integrated Location Assessment (ILA) analyzes both displacement and return movements of conflict-affected people across Iraq. Approximately 2.1 million displaced persons and more than 1.6 million returnees, based in 3,583 locations across Iraq, have been covered in the assessment, which was carried out between March and May 2017.

Only in Basrah and Najaf did families report that they consider integrating into the local community, where they are displaced.

According to the findings, Anbar was the single governorate where most returns took place in both 2016 and 2017, followed by Ninewa in 2017.

Among the main findings, this study identifies that residential and infrastructure damage is widespread. Nearly one third of returnees are reported to have returned to houses that have suffered significant damage, and 60 per cent to moderately damaged residences. Regarding infrastructure, most damage appears to affect roads, followed by the public power grid and water networks.

Prince Charles: AMAR gives us Reason to have Faith in Humanity

By Padraig O’Hannelly.

HRH The Prince of Wales has paid tribute to the work of the AMAR International Charitable Foundation on the occasion of its 25th anniversary.

Addressing the celebration in London’s Lancaster House on Wednesday, Prince Charles said:

Today is an opportunity to honour the work of the remarkable AMAR teams … whose professionalism has delivered extraordinary outcomes in health and education for so many people over these twenty-five years.

“Each and every one of them, whether they work in Iraq or in another part of the Middle East, or in London or Washington, should feel deeply proud of all that AMAR has achieved. So too, should the many businesses and commercial entities – and in particular the Iraq Britain Business Council [IBBC] – whose magnificent support over the years has made all of this work possible.

“If I may, I would also like to pay a special tribute to Baroness Nicholson whose indefatigable leadership and extraordinary professionalism has been so crucially important to this endeavour for so many years.

He continued:

“AMAR has given us all reason to have faith in humanity. It has saved countless lives, created hope from despair and achieved nothing short of miracles.”

AMAR thanked the Prince for his wonderful support of the organisation since its founding, and in particular as its Patron for the past thirteen years.

Please help ensure Iraq’s children have the childhoods they deserve — support AMAR’s work today: https://appeal.amarfoundation.org/

(Sources: AMAR International Charitable Foundation, Clarence House)

Korea’s Support is Helping Iraqi Returnees

The Government of the Republic of Korea and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed a partnership agreement today for US$4 million to support stabilization and recovery in newly liberated areas in Iraq.

Korea’s contribution will be channeled through UNDP’s Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS), which finances fast-track initiatives in areas retaken from ISIL. This is Korea’s fourth contribution since 2015 to FFS.

Based on priorities identified by the Government of Iraq and local authorities, FFS helps quickly repair public infrastructure, provides grants to small businesses, boosts the capacity of local government, and provides short-term employment through public works schemes.

During a signing ceremony held in Baghdad, UNDP Resident Representative for Iraq, Ms. Lise Grande, said:

“Stabilizing Mosul is the biggest stabilization challenge we have faced. There are 366 stabilization projects already underway in the city, but so much more needs to be done. This generous contribution from the Republic of Korea will help us accelerate our work in western Mosul. The level of destruction in this part of the city is the worst in the country.”

H.E. the Korean Ambassador to Iraq, Mr. Song Woong-Yeob, said,

“The Republic of Korea is deeply committed to supporting efforts of the Iraqi Government and the international community to stabilize areas affected by the violence of ISIL. I firmly believe that our fourth contribution will further help the efforts by imbuing affected Iraqis with hope and empowering them to recover and start the process of rebuilding their communities.”

UNDP’s Funding Facility is implementing over 1,200 initiatives in newly liberated areas of Anbar, Salah al-Din, Ninewah, and Diyala.

(Source: UNDP in Iraq)

UN Migration Agency Assists Newly Displaced from Hawija

Military operations to retake Hawija district and surrounding areas, which began on 21 September, have to date displaced more than 2,400 individuals from Hawija, Kirkuk governorate and Shirqat, Salah al-Din governorate. The majority displaced to Ninewa governorate, including 1,700 individuals bussed by Iraqi authorities to IOM’s Haj Ali emergency site 60 km south of Mosul.

Most of these recently displaced people arrived to a secure area after fleeing their towns and villages, many walking five to 10 hours through desert lands, leaving them dehydrated and exhausted.

The majority of IDPs arriving at Haj Ali are children, women and older people. As the military operations continue, thousands of additional families are expected to be displaced and in need of assistance.

Upon arrival, families are assigned a tent and given two kits: a Rapid Response Mechanism kit (food, water and a hygiene kit) from a local NGO; and an NFI kit from IOM, including mattresses, bedding, kitchen set, fan, light, plastic mats, gas cooker, and more. An IOM doctor is present at registration to identify urgent health needs.

Amal, 24, from Tal al-Wared village in Hawija district, along with a group of family members, arrived in Haj Ali site on Friday, September 22. While visiting IOM’s health center for medical checkups, she said “Life in Hawija was very difficult, there were shortages of food and basic supplies. I am very concerned about my 16 relatives who were not able to depart with us. We are still waiting to hear from them.”

Dr. Ahmed Basheer of IOM at Haj Ali site was among a group of first responders to provide emergency medical care for newly displaced people.

Crescent Petroleum, Dana Gas support Healthcare Centre for IDPs

By Robert Cole, AMAR Foundation.

Crescent Petroleum, one of the Middle East’s oldest and largest upstream oil companies, and Dana Gas, one of the largest private sector natural gas companies in the region, have joined forces to fund the running costs of a healthcare centre and vocational training centre for displaced people in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq for the next three years, the two companies today announced.

The three-year commitment will fund the entire running costs of AMAR International Charitable Foundation’s Primary Healthcare Centre and vocational training centre in Khanke Camp, which serve the whole community, including 16,000 Yazidi residents.

The healthcare centre plays a vital role in providing healthcare to those who would otherwise be unable to access medical support. In the second quarter of 2017, the clinic saw 26,404 cases, conducting 5,411 maternal health consultations and 2,034 child consultations.

Commenting on the donation, Crescent Petroleum’s CEO Majid Jafar said:

“At Crescent Petroleum, we aim to empower local communities by not only providing energy solutions to fuel their development, but also by responding to their social and economic needs. Internally displaced people (IDPs) are among the world’s most vulnerable populations but they are often overlooked by international relief efforts, and we are committed and honoured to assist their healthcare needs in partnership with AMAR Foundation.”

The natural gas produced by the companies from the Khor Mor field supplies more than 1,750 MW of affordable electricity to the Kurdistan Region, giving schools, hospitals and other vital entities a non-disruptive water and electricity supply for millions of people.

The Duhok Health Directorate has seen the population of the region more than double over the last two and a half years due to the massive influx of IDPs from the Sinjar and Mosul regions, putting increasing pressure on healthcare access.

Patrick Allman-Ward, Dana Gas’ CEO, said:

“Our corporate social responsibility programme has been at the heart of Dana Gas’ operations since its inception in 2005. Providing financial support to those in need is not only a moral obligation, it also has a positive impact on the communities where we operate.”

AMAR’s Chairman and Founder, the British Conservative Peer, Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, said she was “overwhelmed” by the generosity of Dana Gas and Crescent Petroleum:

“AMAR builds, staffs and runs five state-of-the-art heath centres on an extremely low budget. The generous donation from Crescent Petroleum and Dana Gas means we can continue with the marvellous work being done in Khanke by our locally trained doctors and nurses for the next three years.”

PLEASE CLICK HERE IF YOU CAN HELP – ANY AMOUNT LARGE OR SMALL.

(Source: AMAR Foundation)

AMAR to open Health Clinic in Mosul

By Robert Cole, AMAR Foundation.

We’re excited to announce that work is about to begin on a new AMAR International Charitable Foundation Public Health Care Centre (PHCC) on the outskirts of Mosul.

Thanks to a huge fundraising effort by our supporters, we have sufficient to rehabilitate, resource and re-open the badly damaged existing government clinic in the village of Bazwaya, just East of the city.

Thousands fled the area when Daesh invaded three years ago. Historically, Bazwaya was a multi-faith town, and united by their common need to return to normality and peace as quickly as possible, many families are going home to salvage what they can and begin again.

AMAR Teams have been working on the ground to identify areas where the AMAR Model of PHCC Services can best be deployed to serve the returnees. Whilst huge humanitarian efforts are underway throughout the region, many of the smaller and less known communities remain isolated and without critical facilities.

Our health teams believe the grim conditions mean there is a huge threat to the population from communicable diseases, illness and infection from injuries. The harsh winter is also on the horizon and will add additional strain to an already dire situation.

But at least for these communities Daesh are gone.

Once opened with AMARs local doctors and nurses the centre is expected to serve approximately 15,000 from within the immediate catchment area. More are expected to travel even further from rural areas to access urgently needed health care.

AMAR continues to seek funding and support to rehabilitate and open more centres throughout the region to offer primary health and psycho-social support for the victims of Daesh.

PLEASE CLICK HERE IF YOU CAN HELP – ANY AMOUNT LARGE OR SMALL.

(Source: AMAR Foundation)

IOM Emergency Unit Assists IDPs from Tal Afar

This past week the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN Migration Agency, sent emergency teams from its Erbil, Iraq, mission to provide front-line non-food item (NFI) assistance to an informal settlement of internally displaced persons (IDPs). The settlers are principally nomadic herders fleeing ISIL’s last remaining major stronghold in Iraq: Tal Afar.

Following the fall of Mosul, 255 families – mostly shepherds with their livestock – fled from villages on the outskirts of Tal Afar to establish an informal camp in Badoush, about 40 kilometres from Tal Afar city, in Iraq’s Ninewa governorate.

They escaped about six weeks ago.

Iraqi forces are preparing to launch a military offensive on Tal Afar – a city originally of 200,000 people in Iraq’s northern Nineveh province, before ISIL took control of it in mid-2014. Although the militant group has lost nearly two-thirds of the territory it once controlled, it remains active in some of the country’s northern and western areas.

Tal Afar city, with the largest Turkmen population in the country (a mix of Sunni Turkmen and Shia Arabs), is located about 60 kilometres west of Mosul.

According to reports from Tal Afar, where an estimated 10,000 to 40,000 people remain in the city, ISIL is preventing people from escaping, as it did in West Mosul, by shooting at families attempting to flee.

Those managing to flee the city, mostly women, children and the elderly, must take a meandering route to avoid being spotted by ISIL, mostly arriving in the late hours of the night.

Germany Increases Aid for Mosul by $117m

Germany has announced an additional $117 million (100 million Euros) in aid to help rebuild the city of Mosul following its liberation from IS; much of the city is in ruins after months of fighting between government forces and IS for control of the city.

The German government has stated that it will massively step up its financial aid to Mosul after its liberation from the IS, who held the city for three years.

German Development Minister, Gerd Mueller (pictured), announced the additional funding in an interview on July 25, which also reported that Germany had up to now invested some $60 million in stabilizing areas around Mosul and its outlying areas.

Mueller said that German support had already enabled more than 60,000 children in Mosul to go to school again and provided 150,000 people with access to vital drinking water.

Most people who had fled from IS have remained in the region and want to return to the city, according to Mueller, who has recently visited a refugee camp in the area.

(Source: GardaWorld)