ACAPS Thematic Report: Displacement in KR-I, Iraq

Publication language
Date published
24 Aug 2016
Research, reports and studies
Conflict, violence & peace, Health, Psychosocial support, Forced displacement and migration, Host Communities

Some 250,000 Syrian refugees are registered in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR-I), most having fled armed conflict in Syria in 2012 and 2014 (UNHCR 03/08/2016; UNHCR 30/06/2016). 90% are Syrian Kurds (FMR 09/2014). In 2014 and 2015, Iraqi IDPs fleeing Islamic State (IS) increased the population of KR-I by more than 30% in just two years (JIPS 04/2016; IOM 03/2016; IOM 22/06/2016) As of early August, KR-I hosts 955,200 IDPs, 28% of the total displaced in Iraq (UNHCR 03/08/2016; IOM 22/07/2016; IOM 02/07/2016).

Over 34,000 people from Makhmur district, south of Mosul, where fighting between IS and Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) has been fierce since March, have fled to Debaga, in the Erbil governorate of KR-I (UNHCR 23/08/2016; UNICEF 09/08/2016; OCHA 19/06/2016). More displacement is expected in the coming months as ISF move closer to Mosul’s urban centre, held by IS: the UN’s worst-case scenario sees over one million people displaced from Mosul city along with 830,000 from the corridor to the city’s south (Reuters 20/07/2016).
Struggling with its own economic and political crisis, the resilience of host communities in the KR-I is being tested by the existing caseload, and the KRG has said it will not allow any more IDPs to enter its cities, instead containing newly displaced populations at camps along its borders (JIPS 04/2016; World Bank 05/2016).