Iraq – On Tuesday (1/11) the IOM Iraq Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) – the standard data source used to guide the humanitarian response – recorded a total of 17,916 individuals displaced by military operations that began on 17 October around the Mosul region.
The total number of individuals is calculated by multiplying the number of identified families by six, which is the average size of an Iraqi family. Emergency tracking numbers are not cumulative but reflect a snapshot of displacement on the day of reporting.
The majority have been displaced to districts within Iraq’s Ninewa Governorate, including Mosul, Al-Hamdaniya, Tilkaif. Others have been displaced to Fallujah, Anbar Governorate, and Makhmur, Erbil Governorate.
On Sunday (30/10) 15 families from Omar Gabji village (Baashiqa sub-district) arrived at the Hasansham M1 IDP camp after passing the security screening at the entrance of the camp, according to Iraqi authorities. The Monday DTM report included eight families from villages in the Baashiqa sub-district who arrived at Zeilkan camp after security screening in Nargizilya, and another 15 families from the same area who arrived to Hasansham M1 after being screened by Iraqi authorities. Both camps are in the Ninewa Governorate.
IOM’s DTM last week reported the movement of over 5,000 men, women and children during one 24-hour period – the highest single one-day number since military operations against ISIL began in Mosul on 17 October. IOM soon began reaching those newly displaced with mobile assistance teams, including non-food item distributions.
On Monday (31/10) an IOM team travelled to Saydawah, a village retaken by Iraqi Security forces the previous week. Many population centres in the combat zone, including Saydawah – 9km from the crossroads that connect Qayyarah bridge to Makhmour and Al Hajj Ali and southwest of Erbil – choke under a black cloud of smoke from fires that have burned for months since ISIL ignited oil wells before retreating.
This morning (01/11) IOM Iraq reported that 28 families from Mosul presented themselves at the Bezabize Central Camp in Anbar Governorate.
On Monday morning (31/10), families of displaced Iraqis, as well as members of the host community, greeted IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Thomas Lothar Weiss who took part in the distribution of 580 emergency winter kits, including plastic tarps, cook-stoves, bedding and hygiene kits.
“These people have suffered so much. Our IOM Iraq team is proud to be among the very first respondents to bring relief to the long-suffering families in the retaken villages,” he said after exchanging greetings with the gray-haired village leader, or mokhtar.
Dr. Weiss explained that of the more than 3.2 million IDPs the Displacement Tracking Matrix has identified since the crisis began in early 2014, 85% are people like those he met in Saydawah: men, women and children living outside recognized displacement camps.
“That makes them much harder to reach with services,” he said.
That would be the case with someone like ‘Souhair’, a 13-year-old girl, who met the IOM team on Monday. The teenager, displaced to Saydawah, said she is looking forward to being back in school after a two-year hiatus imposed by ISIL, which disallowed co-education of students. She had completed fifth grade when her schooling stopped. “I want to be a teacher when I grow up,” she told the IOM visitors after her family received an emergency kit.
IOM Iraq opened in 2003 and today deploys 950 national and international staff in more than 50 projects nationwide. In the Mosul region, IOM now employs teams engaged in shelter, health, camp management, technical assistance, warehousing and logistics activities.