Press Release

Sinjar Welcomes Back 80 Displaced Families with IOM Support

14 March 2024

IRAQ, March 13 – After nearly ten years of displacement, 80 families returned to their hometown in Sinjar, Ninewa, through IOM’s Facilitated Voluntary Movement (FVM) programme, in close collaboration with Government of Iraq’s Ministry of Migration and Displaced, and Kurdistan Regional Government’s Joint Crisis Coordination Center, on March 12, 2024.


"Returning to my own home is better than staying in a camp," said Sham, an elderly woman from Skiniya village, who lost her daughter and son during the invasion of Daesh and has decided to return to her village with her daughter-in-law.

The latest departures are part of IOM's ongoing support to assisting displaced families across Iraq in returning to their homes or relocating to a new location, in dignity. Since 2023, IOM has assisted more than 450 families to leave displacement settings and return to Sinjar. 

"These families have endured immense hardship, and their return to Sinjar represents a significant step towards healing wounds and rebuilding their communities,” says Giorgi Gigauri, IOM Iraq’s Chief of Mission. “Since 2019, IOM has supported nearly 4,000 families end their displacement and return home – and we will continue to stand with returnees every step of the way”. 

IOM has supported internally displaced populations in finding durable solutions through informed and voluntary returns to areas origin and relocation under FVM since 2019. Participation in FVM is voluntary, and IOM provides a comprehensive support package to assist families in making informed decisions. This includes “go-and-see" visits, where families visit their areas of origin to assess if conditions are conducive to their return, as well as transportation assistance, counseling and support services, housing support, and livelihood assistance.

In addition to facilitating movements, IOM works with partners to support holistic recovery and stabilization of communities. This includes support for infrastructure, such as schools and healthcare facilities; facilitating access to basic services; economic recovery and livelihoods support; restarting small businesses; finding employment; and empowering communities to build a brighter future. 

IOM Iraq’s efforts to promote voluntary, safe, dignified, and informed solutions to displacement are supported by several international partners, most notably the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM). 



About IOM Iraq: With staff and major offices in Baghdad, Erbil, Basra and Mosul, IOM Iraq works in cooperation with the Government of Iraq, the Kurdistan Regional Government, civil society organizations and international partners to provide support across the country’s 18 governorates, operating a multi-sectoral response covering camp management and camp coordination, shelter and infrastructure rehabilitation, health care, mental health and psychosocial support services, livelihood assistance, protection, support for national migration policy development and more.

Video: Watch this video to learn more about the steps interested families go through in IOM's FVM programme

Report: Read more about IOM's Durable Solutions programme and efforts to facilitate safe and voluntary returns


For more info, please visit our website: 

For media inquiries, please contact Deepika Nath, 

 IOM Iraq’s Public Information Unit

IOM Iraq’s Public Information Unit


UN entities involved in this initiative

International Organization for Migration

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