UNDP, IOM, and Iraqi government agencies encourage returns and reintegration in Ninewa
27 June 2022
Erbil, Iraq, 27 June 2022 – UNDP Iraq and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in partnership with the Office of the National Security Advisory, and with participation from the Ministry of Migration and Displacement (MOMD) and other relevant government agencies, have brought together over 45 community and tribal leaders as well as local authorities from Ninewa Governorate in a workshop aimed at fostering understanding and community readiness among local leaders to facilitate the return and reintegration of displaced Iraqis back into their communities.
UNDP and IOM are working with the Government of Iraq to support the return and reintegration of displaced Iraqi families with perceived affiliation to ISIL, including those returning from Syria, in line with the government’s efforts to end protracted displacement through proactive measures to facilitate access to durable solutions.
The workshop included participants from the areas of Baaj, Ayadia, Makhmour, Mosul, Al Qiarah and Telafar in Ninewa, and discussed the details of the return process, challenges facing families who will return, the role of community leaders and local government in facilitating the reintegration of families, and the work which UNDP and IOM are undertaking to facilitate return and reintegration. The workshop produced a unanimous consensus to enhance community acceptance of returning families.
UNDP Iraq Resident Representative Ms. Zena Ali-Ahmad emphasizes, “UNDP is committed to working with the Iraqi Government and IOM to ensure communities are well informed and ready to accept the return of displaced families back to their communities of origin. Our sustainable approach to community readiness includes discussions with local and national authorities surrounding livelihood opportunities, mental health services, and housing options for both returning families and community members.”
According to Mr. Giorgi Gigauri, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Iraq, “IOM’s whole-of-society approach to identifying and facilitating durable solutions for displaced Iraqis demands that the needs, concerns and awareness of all those affected are taken into account – this is a crucial component of joint efforts by IOM, UNDP and the Government of Iraq to resolve the cases of individuals facing complex barriers to return and reintegration. The good faith and commitment to social cohesion shown during this workshop are a hopeful indication of increased opportunities for concerted action moving forward.”
Dr. Saeed Al-Jiashi, Advisor, National Security Advisory, states, “This meeting is very important in clarifying accurate information to the community about returning families and the stages of rehabilitation, including defining the timetable for returns. We have addressed issues by presenting facts and listening to tribal leaders, heads of administrative and security units, and local peace committees.”
In 2020, UNDP Iraq launched a dedicated five-year Social Cohesion Programme to promote stronger, peaceful, and more cohesive communities in all areas of Iraq. The Community-based Reconciliation and Reintegration Project supports the community readiness, return, and reintegration of families perceived to be affiliated with ISIL, who are often among the most marginalized and vulnerable, as well as supporting host families in areas of return.