Iraq, 12 May 2017 - The UN Migration Agency (IOM) is expanding its programmes in Iraq’s Anbar Governorate, which has been greatly affected by the ongoing humanitarian crisis. The programmes include support for small businesses, job creation and light infrastructure, medical assistance, and community policing.
Due to the current crisis, more than 188,000 individuals remain displaced within Anbar Governorate. But, according to IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), more than 814,000 displaced Iraqis from Anbar have returned.
The cities of Ramadi and Falluja in Anbar Governorate, retaken in 2016 by Iraqi forces, both suffered severe infrastructure damage. The needs identified during development of the community action plan for Falluja – a process initiated by IOM in cooperation with governorate authorities – include employment and the rehabilitation of essential services including the water system, health centres and schools.
IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Thomas Lothar Weiss recently visited Falluja. While there, he discussed the needs and challenges of the displaced and returnee population with governorate representatives. He also reviewed IOM projects, especially those focused on local economic revitalization.
“As head of the crisis cell I realize that circumstances are difficult and needs are extensive, especially in Ameriyat Al Falluja, and the situation is challenging to mitigate,” said Mustafa Al Ersan, Deputy Governor of Anbar. “IOM supported us when we faced large-scale displacement and has played an active role in assisting internally displaced persons. Current infrastructure rehabilitation efforts with the support of IOM are very important. Without their contribution, the many needs of the displaced could not be met,” he added.
"We hope to rebuild this city and better assist the returnees,” said Essa Al Esawi, Mayor of Falluja. “IOM has supported the city with many projects, especially infrastructure rehabilitation.”
Local authorities and IOM staff discussed the expansion of IOM’s Community Revitalization Programme in Anbar to provide more than 250 individuals with livelihood support. Over 200 individuals in selected communities of Falluja are receiving business support packages to start or re-open businesses, along with business development service courses.
While in Falluja, an IOM delegation visited the Women’s Empowerment Centre, which the Agency is helping to rehabilitate and equip. Additional light infrastructure projects in process in Falluja include the rehabilitation of a water drainage station, a water network and a health-care centre.
“It is vital that displaced Iraqis, returnees and host communities are encouraged and assisted in the path to stabilization and recovery,” said IOM’s Weiss. “IOM is resolved to address these requirements, through small business support, job creation, and the re-establishment of essential public services and infrastructure.”
The action plan also identified the need to support community policing in response to security concerns. The IOM Community Policing Programme aims to facilitate dialogue between civil society and police, to contribute to security through establishment of Community Policing Forums. In Anbar Governorate, a total of five forums have been created in Falluja and Ramadi with IOM’s assistance.
In coordination with Anbar Department of Health (DoH), IOM has increased its health support to members of both the displaced and host communities, providing nearly 100,000 primary medical consultations since September 2015 and providing Anbar DoH facilities with medication and equipment.
IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) actively monitors displacement across Iraq, including in more than 130 locations in Anbar. The latest DTM Emergency Tracking figures on displacement across Iraq are available at: http://iraqdtm.iom.int.
For further information, please contact IOM Iraq.
Sandra Black,Tel. +964 751 234 2550, Email:
Hala Jaber,Tel. +964 751 740 1654, Email: