Rudaw reports IOM DTM figures on Mosul Displacement and returns to Ramadi
Rudaw news article: ERBIL, Kurdistan Region, As thousands of civilians continue to flee Mosul in the face of a major Iraqi military operation to retake the city from ISIS, others have started returning to their liberated areas elsewhere in the country.
Close to half a million people, numbering 67,791 families have left refugee camps and returned to Ramadi, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports.
This alone accounts for 35 percent of total refugee returns across the country, says the IOM.
The organization said that those who have returned have almost nothing to rely on for their sustenance and therefore their agency is in the city to provide support.
Ramadi, the central of the Sunni province of Anbar in western Iraq was liberated last December after more than a year under ISIS control.
Local authorities, chief among them governor Suhaib al-Rawi have urged all who fled the military of last year to return to their lives and jobs even though they declared following the city’s liberation that %80 of the infrastructure had been destroyed in the offensive.
The IOM highlights the story of an elderly woman who returned to Ramadi in February and describes the situation in the city as miserable.
“I had to leave my home and go to Erbil in 2014 after ISIL came to Ramadi. We came back this summer to nothing. Our house was completely destroyed. Not only was the trip back from Erbil very difficult, but we had no choice but to rent a two-bedroom house,” she is quoted by the organization as saying. She lamented: “There are 17 of us in a two-room house that has no windows, no electricity and a roof that may collapse at any minute. We pay USD 350 a month to live there, but we really don’t have another choice because my husband and sons can’t find any work.” Thomas Weiss, IOM Iraq Chief Commission believes that the province must be helped in order to move from emergency assistance to long-term self-reliance. “It is critical that we continue to give attention to areas like Ramadi, which is recovering from a long period under ISIL control. Transitioning from emergency relief, which is still critical, to longer term livelihoods and resiliency initiatives will be a key focus for IOM in the coming months.”
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