ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Governor of Kirkuk Najmaldin Karim on Tuesday met with the Police chief and the administrators of various Kirkuk districts to discuss the reconstruction of war-torn areas in the province and the rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
The Kirkuk Governor, whom the Iraqi Parliament sacked for his participation in the Kurdistan Region’s independence referendum, met with members of the administrations of Hawija, Dibis, Daquq, and liberated villages around Kirkuk.
The meeting was to discuss the establishment of a plan to restore public services to the areas retaken from the Islamic State (IS), including clean water, electricity, healthcare, and education.
The Kirkuk governorate’s administrators also conferred on a strategy to facilitate the return of Kirkuk’s IDPs to their homes.
Karim stated that devising a plan and a proper mechanism to help IDPs return to their hometown was “of the highest priority” for the province’s administration.
“We will carry out this plan in coordination with Peshmerga forces,” he revealed.
The representatives from the various districts formed a committee to evaluate the damages on their respective cities and districts, according to a press release from the Governor’s office.
The city council will use the committee’s assessments to dedicate renovation funds to specific areas, the press release noted.
According to an International Organization for Migration (IOM) report, 2,400 people have been displaced since the launch of the operation to retake Hawija on Sep. 21.
Similar reports from IOM estimate the number of IDPs from the Kirkuk province amount to over 200,000 individuals.
Kirkuk is home to over half a million IDPs who have fled the threat of IS in other provinces of Iraq. Iraqi security forces have recently retaken the center of the town of Hawija, west of Kirkuk, the militant group’s last remaining stronghold in northern Iraq.
Editing by G.H. Renaud and Karzan Sulaivany