Hundreds of displaced Iraqis who returned to their homes after Islamic State (ISIS) was defeated by the Iraqi forces, are now going back to Kurdish camps due to lack of services and reconstruction.
Head of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Department of Foreign Relations, Falah Mustafa, said that about 4,000 displaced Iraqis have returned to Kurdish refugee camps since January, Voice of America reported on Wednesday (April 11).
“What we are seeing this year is a reverse return to the Kurdistan region,” Mustafa said Tuesday during a joint press conference with Ramanathan Balakrishnan, the U.N. Population Fund representative in Erbil.
“The return of internally displaced and refugees requires work ensuring security, providing basic services, and creating job opportunities, in addition to efforts for a national reconciliation,” he added.
The Kurdistan Region hosts 1.1 million internally displaced people (IDPs) and 250,000 Syrian refugees who fled violence over the years.
Spokesperson for the Iraqi Ministry of Migration and Displacement, Star Newroz said the returned displaced people to the refugee camps were mostly from areas far from Mosul where the Iraqi government had difficulty providing basic services.
“They are leaving due to logistical reasons, either because their homes are far from the center of the province and services, or their homes are completely destroyed and unlivable,” he told the Iraqi Shafaaq news agency.
Iraqi government, preparing for elections in May, says it is doing its best to stabilize and reconstruct the areas retaken from ISIS militants, adding it cannot handle the damage without international support.
Iraq said its 10-year reconstruction plan will cost $88.2 billion, $22 billion of which is required immediately.
The government of Iraq received pledges totaling $30 billion USD at an international conference for reconstruction in Kuwait in February, in which Baghdad hoped for more.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s government was hoping the international community would supplement the end of major combat against ISIS with concrete financial support for reconstruction.