The Speaker of Parliament, Mohammed al-Halbousi, reassured residents of Sinjar that a specific budget will be put in place reconstruction in the city.
Speaker of the Council of Representatives Mohammed al-Halbusi said on Friday (December 14) that the government will allocate a dedicated budget to rebuild Sinjar, in order to enable displaced Ezidis to return.
During a news conference near the Lalish Temple in Shekhan district, Halbusi said that the legacy of Islamic State still lingered in the area and that the Iraqi parliament would create a dedicated budget to rebuild infrastructure and provide reliable public services like water and electricity for residents.
He also addressed security concerns, by saying that: “We will make attempts to restore the previous security forces to Sinjar in order restore safety.”
In surveys of displaced persons, Sinjar is routinely cited as one of the most insecure and deprived areas by potential returnees.
According to a recent report issued by the International Organization for Migration’s Iraq mission, “the five reasons for continued displacement that emerged [from the research] are categorized around obstacles relating to housing, livelihoods and basic services, social cohesion, security, and mental health issues and psycho-social distress.”
Halbusi also condemned the Turkish airstrikes that hit Sinjar and Makhmour on Thursday night.
“We are against any attack violating the sovereignty of Iraqi soil and [specifically] condemn the Turkish attacks on the Kurdistan Region,” he stated.
Halbusi was in the area to mark the the three-day Ezidi religious holiday of Ezi, which is expected to attract a number of other government and party officials to Sinjar.
Nobel Laureate Nadia Murad also addressed at the event and said that: “Ezidi [internally displaced persons] have not yet returned to the area due to poor security conditions and the lack of services in the district.”
More than four years have passed since the Ezidi Genocide was perpetrated by Islamic State (ISIS) militants in 2014. Thousands of people were killed, abducted, or fled the area.
More than 200,000 displaced persons still live in camps, according to the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).