Iraq – As the battle to retake west Mosul approached its conclusion this week, the IOM Iraq Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) reported an estimated 380,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) – or over 63,000 families – newly recorded east of Mosul city.
This week, the IOM Iraq DTM published its Round 74 report. Updated as of 30 June 2017, it covers displacement and return movements across the country.
The report recorded a total of 3,351,132 individuals (558,522 families) displaced since January 2014 and dispersed across 104 districts and 3,654 locations in Iraq. For the same period, the DTM identified 1,952,868 returnees (325,478 families).
Country-wide, the total number of identified IDPs increased by approximately 11 per cent (331,098 individuals). The increase is due largely to the completion of the DTM joint data collection exercise carried out in cooperation with local authorities in east Mosul.
This collaboration enabled the identification of approximately 380,000 additional individuals who were displaced from west to east Mosul.
These results included pre-emptive displacements, recorded as early as January 2017 prior to the military operations in west Mosul, in addition to those IDPs who transited through the Hammam Al-Aleel screening site and then moved to out-of-camp settings in east Mosul through the area of Kokjali.
On 19 February 2017, the overall number of individuals displaced due to Mosul operations dramatically increased with the launch of the west Mosul offensive. Significant population movements to out-of-camp locations in hard-to-access areas, most notably in east Mosul, began to be reported.
While many sought shelter in camps, a significant number of those displaced opted to stay in recently retaken areas in east Mosul. In response, the DTM expanded its methodology to report flow-monitoring movements at strategic spots such as the Hammam Al-Aleel screening site.
Throughout this same period, the DTM closely collaborated with local authorities to support the establishment of a joint information collection system to gather consistent data on IDPs within the city of Mosul as a consequence of the military operations.
In the last few months, DTM seconded its staff to local authorities to conduct joint field visits and collect direct information – at the neighbourhood level – on IDPs who fled west Mosul and are now in east Mosul. This data collection system established by IOM Iraq’s DTM revealed a number of previously unrecorded anticipatory IDPs as well as locating those who opted to live outside of camps.
The findings of this exercise have now been integrated into the regular DTM Emergency Tracking, following several rounds of triangulation and direct validation on the ground by governmental and non-governmental sources. The sharp increase in IDP figures visible on the Mosul portal is attributed to the integration of these new findings rather than to a specific event.
Based on the DTM new findings a total of 1,048,044 individuals (174,674 families) have been displaced from both east and west Mosul as of 13 July.
Of these IDPs displaced by Mosul operations, more than 825,000 individuals (137,000 families) continue to be displaced, 95 per cent of whom have been identified at neighbourhood/village level in Ninewa governorate, while another 5 per cent are distributed across 12 governorates.
Another 222,732 IDPs have now returned. DTM continues to closely collaborate with national authorities to harmonize IDP data findings across the country.
DTM will strive to update these records on a weekly basis, as joint field visits continue to be conducted throughout the 70 neighbourhoods covered in east Mosul. Collaboration with local authorities is ongoing to expand the system to west Mosul and refine the tracking of returnees across the city.
IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Thomas Lothar Weiss said: “These new findings provide a more comprehensive understanding of the enormous crisis before us. IOM Iraq will continue to work with national and local authorities, to verify IDP movements, and provide necessary humanitarian assistance to the full extent of our resources.”
As of DTM Round 74, the returnee population increased by 8 per cent (139,188 individuals) for the same period.
The two governorates with the highest increase in returnee population were Anbar (8 per cent or 69,108 individuals) and Ninewa (25 per cent or 67,530 individuals).
Given the available information and the DTM methodology, the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) has revised the planning figures for the humanitarian response to 3.4 million internally displaced persons.
In total, 123 of the IOM Iraq Rapid Assessment and Response Team staff and 9,500 key informants across the country cooperated with the DTM to provide data for its latest report and findings