The claim that Iraqis “must” have “asylum” in Europe is rapidly collapsing with the news that recent military victories against ISIS in both Syria and Iraq have already seen more than 1.5 million internally displaced Iraqi nationals return to their homes.
A coffee shop re-opens in the village of Gwer, near Mosul, with help from an IOM business enhancement support package.
According to new figures released by the United Nations’ International Organization for Migration (IOM), their “Displacement Tracking Matrix” (DTM) has “identified a recent spike of internally displaced persons (IDPs) returning to their location of origin across the country.”
The IOM’s DTM identified a cumulative total of 217,764 IDPs (36,294 families) displaced as a result of the Mosul military operations that started on October 17, 2016.
Yet as of February 17, 2017, only 160,302 individuals (26,717 families) remain displaced; and of these, 93 percent are hosted in Ninewa Governorate. This is important because most (78 percent) of those displaced are from the Mosul district in Ninewa Governorate.
“The remaining 57,462 individuals (9,577 families) have returned to their location of origin,” the IOM report said.
Since 2014, the DTM has identified over three million internally displaced persons (a total of 505,000 families) dispersed across 3,661 locations in Iraq.
“Yet for the same period, DTM has recorded nearly 1.5 million returnees (a total of 249,327 families), that is, IDPs who believe their communities are safe enough now to return to. This represents an overall increase in the returnee population of 7 percent (98,946 individuals) just in the past month,” the IOM report added.
“With Iraq’s military retaking areas from ISIL, IOM has provided figures and identified locations of significant returns, which will facilitate the efforts of the Government and humanitarian agencies in directing assistance for people likely to return to their homes this year.
“During the spring and summer of 2016, IDPs began returning to retaken areas of Anbar Governorate. By early February 2017, Anbar recorded the highest increase in returnees—73,386 individuals—to districts including Falluja, Ramadi and Heet. Smaller numbers of IDPs returning were recorded in the districts of Salah al-Din, including Al-Shirqat and Tikrit.”
IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Thomas Weiss said in a statement that his organization was “providing returning Iraqis with a variety of support mechanisms including shelter rehabilitation, livelihoods, non-food items, and light infrastructure projects, to support their ability to resume their lives and provide for their families.”
In the town of Gwer, IOM is currently the only organization working with returnees. “Thanks to IOM’s livelihoods programs, people are encouraged to return because they receive support in finding employment or income-generating activities,” said Herash Husain Hasan, Gwer’s Mayor. “That helps them to rebuild their homes.”
In Gwer, nearly 200 individuals recently benefitted from 26 business support packages and 6 business enhancement packages. These packages are supporting a coffee shop, barbershop, bakery, butcher, hairdresser, and a clothing shop.
IOM is also rehabilitating Gwer’s health center, re-wiring its electrical system, painting, plastering, plumbing, and providing furniture. The works began in February and will be completed by the end of March 2017.
While the health center is being rehabilitated, an IOM medical team in Gwer is operating out of two caravans, providing health consultations and medicines for adults and children. Since November 2016, the team has provided more than 3,500 primary healthcare consultations.
In an effort to support further returns of displaced populations in Iraq, IOM is chairing the Returns Working Group (RWG), established by the UN Humanitarian Country Team to develop recommendations for Iraqi governorates affected by returns and to provide technical advice to humanitarian partners, government authorities, and civil society organizations to support returns in accordance with international standards.
The report reveals clearly that even in Iraq, the excuse for claiming “asylum” in Europe—or anywhere, for that matter—is increasingly hollow, because there have always been safe areas inside Iraq to which they could have fled.
The military defeats being inflicted on ISIS, and the IOM’s open admission that more than half of all Iraqis internally displaced since 2014 have been able to return home, demonstrates that those Iraqis claiming to be refugees, and parasiting off European taxpayers, are merely swindlers exploiting deluded liberal sentiments.