Iraq has been the site of significant internal displacement for well over a decade. However, this displacement has increased dramatically over the last two years as the security situation in central and south Iraq has deteriorated.
Armed conflict at the beginning of 2014 drove hundreds of thousands of people out of Anbar’s two main cities of Fallujah and Ramadi into the surrounding areas and to other provinces. By the end of that summer, when the Islamic militant group known as ISIS took over the districts of Mosul and Sinjar in Ninewa province, the number of IDPs reached 1.7 million.
Today, there are 3.2 million internally displaced people (IDPs) in Iraq. They are living in rented accommodations, unfinished buildings, and makeshift camps, often without adequate food, water, or medical care, wondering when it might be safe to go home. Of the 3.2 million displaced, 2.3 million are in central and south Iraq. However, the humanitarian response in that region of the country is very much in development right now. There is an urgent need for a more accurate and detailed picture of the IDPs’ locations and needs, for better humanitarian access to many locations, and for adequate funding to get the work done. Since humanitarian actors have no control over the security situation in the country, they need to look more closely at ways to deliver aid under the current security conditions.