ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A recent report from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has found that displaced Iraqis still require durable and long-lasting solutions as they return to their places of origin.
The report, “Access to Durable Solutions Among IDPs in Iraq: Three Years in Displacement,” is the second installment of an ongoing study. The longitudinal study was conducted among about 4,000 displaced families who live outside of camps.
The research, done in coordination with Georgetown University,finds that IDPs have had to lower their standard of living to accommodate and provide their families with basic needs. This often involves borrowing money from relatives to cover expenses for food and clothing.
“While IDPs’ need to borrow money increases over time, their ability to do so does not,” the UN migration agency reported. “In absolute terms, a greater number of households who need money are not able to access it.”
The report was based on analysis of survey and interview data collected from IDPs from four provinces in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region: Baghdad, Basra, Kirkuk, and Sulaimani.
The framework for the study includes the sustainable return, reintegration, and resettlement of IDPs. Furthermore, each “durable solution” relies on long-term, lasting safety and security, along with access to employment and other adequate standards of living.
According to the report, displaced persons “have reached a durable solution when they no longer have any specific assistance and protection needs that are linked to their displacement and can enjoy their human rights without discrimination on account of their displacement.”
The findings conclude that IDPs continue to rely on “survival strategies for displacement” rather than “durable solutions” where they can find formal employment and secure reliable housing to provide for their families.
About 1.8 million Iraqis are still living in displacement camps as reconstruction efforts in their original areas are ongoing.
The Kurdistan Region, in particular, has shouldered the burden of IDPs since the Islamic State emerged in mid-2014 and often relies on its resources to aid the displaced persons.