IDP camps are scattered around Mosul and across Iraq’s Nineveh Province. The province was home to several ISIS strongholds and was the scene of fierce clashes between the terrorists and the Iraqi Armed Forces. This resulted in the displacement of thousands of civilians who have been settled in various IDP camps run by international and local organisations, the central government in Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government.
Despite the continuous return of IDPs to their homes across Iraq, thousands are still stranded in camps with insufficient resources and lack of opportunities for employment and education. The camps themselves have their own internal economies that are not solely based on the distribution of aid, which, in and of itself, is severely lacking.
Displaced people living in the camps set up their own shops and businesses in order to engage in some form of trade so as to earn a livelihood ad hoc. For example, some use the aid that they receive and sell it on to customers. For instance, some have sold their heaters in exchange for food and drink for their children. Unfortunately, there is also a lack of buyers due to the dire economic situation and so even if suppliers were to gather enough goods to sell they would have very few people to sell to.
Mosul city, and later on the whole of Nineveh province, were liberated a number of months ago and so those lingering in camps have been waiting to return to their homes. Nevertheless, certain security issues, the severe damage done to the infrastructure of cities and towns across Nineveh province, and the lack of jobs to go back to, have prevented IDPs from making their return.
In any case, those who have returned to their homes are making the most of what they have in order to reconstruct and rehabilitate their neighbourhoods.