Khanaqin: IDPs lose jobs amid administrative transition in their camps

Diyala, an IDP camp in Khanaqin district, 2020. Photo: Amir Khanaqini

Amir Khanaqini- Diyala

Several Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Khanaqin protest against administrative changes in the camps that have replaced them with new employees.

In the Khanaqin District, the Alwand first and second IDP camps house 800 families, who mostly do not want to return to their place of origin, according to the statistics published by the Ministry of Displacement and Migration.

Ali Ghazi Agha, head of the ministry’s office in Khanaqin, stated, “some IDPs have a stable life here, they have settled and do not want to return, they have jobs and work.”

Agha added that the majority of them are from the city of Sharaban, Sa’eda, Jalawla, whose properties such as their houses were destroyed during the war of the Islamic State group (IS). 

A number of the IDPs occupied different administrative positions in the camps. However, in recent weeks, they lost their jobs due to administrative transition, which has replaced them with people who are from outside of the camps.

Khalid Adnan, who used to work as an administrative staff member in an IDP camp in Khanaqin, stated, “a new international organization has come and has brought a significant number of staff members from outside of the camp.”

The IDPs have raised their concern and have protested against the organization.

We are the representatives of the different ethnic components

“We are the representatives of the different ethnic components and have sufficient expertise in the administration of the camp and the way to deal with people. So we want to be employed in the new administrative staff of the camp,” Adnan said.

The camp coordination and management have been given to the international Blumont organization based on an agreement of the organization with the Diyala local administration.

A source from the organization told KirkukNow that there was a misunderstanding between them and the people of the camp, “now we are attempting to solve the problem and have continuous negotiation with the staff and the people.”

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Khanaqin, an IDP child in a camp, 2019. Photo: KirkukNow 

This problem is a time when the IDPs are facing several other issues, such as the shortage of aid of the organization due to the enforcement of a curfew, which has forced them to remain in their tents for nearly two months.

Head the office of the Ministry of Displacement and Migration. stated, “no one has been employed from the previous administration of the camp, those who have occupied the positions are from outside of the camp.”

“We are not aware of the contract of the organization and its details.”

We are not aware of the contract of the organization and its details

Every camp has its administration that consists of the head and numerous staff members of the camp as well as people who are volunteers. 

Mesaq Abdul Hamid, head of the Alwand first camp, told KirkukNow that those staff members, who have become jobless now, had worked in the camps for five years and are residing in the camps. 

He also called for their reemployment in the camps.

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