25 camps for 671,000 IDPs in Iraqi Kurdistan region

Dawudiya camp for Ezidi IDPs in Duhok Northen province in 2019. Photo by KirkukNow.


Over 670,000 internally displaced people IDPs are living in 25 camps across Iraqi Kurdistan region, KRG ministry of interior said.

Latest data released by joint coordination center for crises of KRG ministry of interior shows that 671,238 IDPs live in 25 camps in the northern provinces of Erbil, Sulaymaniyah and Duhok.

The Iraqi government blames the KRG for the slow process of voluntary return of the IDPS to their home towns. “Kurdistan IDP camps have not been shut due to the obstacles by KRG ministry of interior,” Said Karim al-Nouri, Iraq’s acting minister of migration and the displaced, to Iraqi semi-state media.

Al-Nouri said that the process of volunteer return of IDPs into their home towns has been successful in other provinces. “We are afraid the issue of the displaced and their suffering to be used as a card for upcoming elections,” he added.

“We are afraid the issue of the displaced and their suffering to be used as a card for upcoming elections,” he added.

Iraqi minister of migration and the displaced Ivan Faeq told semi-state media on Feb. 11, 2021, out of 174 camps all over Iraq, only 26 are open. 25 of the current camps are in Kurdistan region, 16 of it are home for tens of thousands of Ezidi religious minority and based in Duhok northern province. The ministry plans to shut 10 of these camps soon.

The Iraqi government had closed 14 out of 15 Internally Displaced Persons IDP camps in Mosul built for the displaced whom fled ISIS atrocities in 2014. The plan was successful to reintegrate 66,000 families into their communities in a voluntary and smooth process, Faeq said.

The ministry called on IDPs in Kurdistan region who voluntarily are willing to return home, to contact the ministry offices in the region in order to be enlisted in the ministry integration plan.

“The registry for the IDPs becomes a proof for their displacement and a guarantee for their rights (in compensation) in the future,” said Ali Abbas Jihangeer, spokesperson for ministry of migration.

Most of the IDPs in northern provinces are Sunni Arabs, Ezidis and Christians. Following ISIS control of one third of Iraqi territories in 2014, about six million Iraqis fled their homes. One million are still living in camps.

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