Southern Governorates of Iraq - September 2014
The southern governorates of Basrah, Missan, and Thi-Qar have enjoyed considerably more stability than other parts of Iraq which has made them a destination for families fleeing unstable areas and seeking safer environments despite the long journey to reach these governorates. Field reports indicate that families displace to these governorates due to similar ethnic and religious backgrounds, the presence of family and friends, and the general stable security situation in the South. Accordingly, more than 80% of the families that displaced to this predominately Shia region are Shia (Arab, Turkmen, and Shabak). The Anbar crisis earlier in 2014 only pushed a small number of Arab families, Sunni and Shia, to reach these governorates, but as clashes between government forces and Armed Groups (AGs) spread and intensified, the number of IDPs reaching these governorates drastically increased. As of September 14, IOM identified 295 locations in Basrah, Missan, and Thi-Qar, together hosting 3,125 IDP families. Thi-Qar received the highest number of families, with over 1,200 , while both Basrah and Missan received more than 900 families each.
The journey for many of the families from Anbar and Ninewa usually includes an initial displacement to Erbil, taking a flight to airports in Basrah or Najaf, then a bus trip to reach their locations. Other families from Salah al-Din, Kirkuk, and Diyala travel by bus directly to their locations, passing through Baghdad and Najaf.
Although security has been mostly stable in these governorates, police and military presence has increased and tightened security measures, including a curfew in Missan, have been put in place to maintain security levels and prevent any infiltration from AGs.