UNDP and IOM facilitate a workshop with Iraqi government agencies and Anbar community leaders to encourage return and reintegration

Erbil, UNDP Iraq and IOM, in partnership with the Office of the National Security Advisory, and with participation from the Ministry of Migration and Displaced (MOMD), Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MOLSA), and other relevant government agencies, have brought together over 35 community and tribal leaders from Anbar in a workshop aimed at fostering acceptance and understanding among local leaders to facilitate the return and reintegration of displaced Iraqis back into their communities.

UNDP and IOM are working with the Government of Iraq to support the return and reintegration of displaced Iraqi families with perceived affiliation to ISIL, including those returning from Syria, in line with the government’s efforts to end protracted displacement through proactive measures to facilitate access to durable solutions.

The workshop participants discussed the details of the return process, the role of community leaders and local government in facilitating the reintegration of families, and the work which UNDP and IOM are undertaking to facilitate return and reintegration. The workshop generated recommendations to enhance community acceptance of returning families.

UNDP Iraq Resident Representative Ms. Zena Ali-Ahmad emphasizes, “Sustainable reintegration of displaced Iraqis back into their communities is a priority for UNDP, and community preparation is a key component of this important work. UNDP Iraq is committed to working with the government of Iraq, local community leaders, and UN partners to prepare communities for the return and reintegration of those who remain displaced and are facing challenges to return.”

According to Giorgi Gigauri, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Iraq, “Identifying durable solutions for displaced Iraqis facing complex obstacles to return, integration, or relocation—including those with perceived affiliation to ISIL—is a top priority for IOM Iraq. IOM is committed to supporting communities in addressing social divisions and other barriers to return of internally displaced persons, as part of our peacebuilding and stabilization portfolio.”

Dr. Saeed Al-Jiashi, Advisor, National Security Advisory, states, “Today’s meeting focused on the displaced returnees from Al Hol Camp who are originally from Anbar Governorate. We agreed on a timeline to facilitate the return of over 200 families and the issues related to the return of the families themselves, as well as within the areas of the return, including feedback from local government and community leaders.”

In 2020, UNDP Iraq launched a dedicated five-year Social Cohesion Programme to promote stronger, peaceful, and more cohesive communities in all areas of Iraq. The Community-based Reconciliation and Reintegration Project supports the community readiness, return, and reintegration of families perceived to be affiliated with ISIL, who are often among the most marginalized and vulnerable, as well as supporting host families in areas of return.

Source: United Nations Development Programme