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Cablegate: Internally Displaced Persons in Iraq

VZCZCXRO5245
PP RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #3078/01 2551126
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 121126Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3350
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHRN/USMISSION UN ROME PRIORITY 0001

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 07 BAGHDAD 003078

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: UN EAID PREF PHUM PREL ECON IZ
SUBJECT: INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS IN IRAQ

REF: A. (A) BAGHDAD 2317 (B) BAGHDAD 2318
B. (C) BAGHDAD 2736 (D) BAGHDAD 2737

BAGHDAD 00003078 001.2 OF 007


1. (SBU) SUMMARY: At 2.2 million internally displaced
persons (IDPs), Iraq now ranks third in the world among
countries with IDP populations, behind only Sudan and
Colombia. Such large-scale displacement in Iraq is producing
potentially permanent social and religious segregation.
Coordination remains weak among national and provincial
institutions, as does coordination within the international
humanitarian community; these deficiencies currently result
in ad hoc responses to both ongoing IDP needs and to
emergencies, such as the recent truck bombs in Ninewa
province. The rate of displacement between February 2006 and
June 2007 is higher than it was in the 2003-2005 period. A
portion of this increase is attributable to improved
registration in some areas but, in other areas, serious
barriers to registration persist, and thus many displaced
persons may not have yet registered. In what appears to be a
sign that Iraqi,s institutions cannot keep up with the
overwhelming demands placed upon them by continuing
displacement, the Baghdad Provincial Council has announced
that it will stop accepting IDP registrations as of September
20 for most applicants. Baghdad is the place of origin of an
estimated 69 percent of IDPs displaced since the bombing of
the Al-Askari shrine in Samarra in February 2006.
USAID/DCHA/OFDA recommends a continued strategy of assisting
IDPs in place, with a focus on livelihoods, host community
support, and working with the Ministry of Displacement and
Migration (MODM) to continue IDP registration in all
locations. In addition, the USG should work with the UN to
move the newly appointed UN Humanitarian Coordinator,s base
to Baghdad from Amman, and to explore further GOI capacity
building needs at both national and provincial levels,
specifically to improve MODM,s ability to assist IDPs and to
respond to emergencies in general.

2. (SBU) SUMMARY CONTINUED: Most of Iraq,s displaced
currently live in rented housing or with host families. The
current trend in net increases of IDP numbers is likely to
continue, and the absorptive capacity of host communities
will depend on the length of conflict and the levels of
security. The top three most frequently reported needs in
both 2006 and 2007 are food, shelter, and employment. Nearly
half of IDPs do not have access to the Public Distribution
System (PDS) food baskets. Ongoing assistance programs
geared toward IDPs in Iraq are limited to a handful of Iraqi
non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the International
Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC); most international NGOs
and most UN agencies are based in Jordan, not Iraq. The UN
operates some programs through national NGOs as well, but
UNHCR, which has a lead agency role for IDPs on a global
level, sees its role for IDPs in Iraq as limited to
protection, camp management, and emergency shelter. END
SUMMARY.

---------------------------------
Defining the Scope of the Problem
---------------------------------

3. (SBU) Iraq has struggled with the problem of displacement
of families and communities for the past four decades, but
the current level of 2.2 million Iraqis officially internally
displaced, combined with an estimated 1.8 million Iraqi
refugees in neighboring countries, levels of displacement are
unprecedented and affect all governorates. Iraq now ranks
third in the world in terms of countries with internally
displaced person (IDP) populations, behind only Sudan and
Colombia, having this year surpassed the Democratic Republic
of the Congo (DRC) and Uganda.

4. (U) Most governorates are both receiving and generating
IDPs, while the three northern governorates (Erbil, Dohuk,
and Sulaymaniyah) mainly receive rather than generate IDPs.
UN figures, drawn from GOI registration information, indicate
that the increase from mid-May 2007 to end of June is double
the average increase ) approximately 190,000 people
displaced in one and a half months, versus the previous
average increase of just above 60,000 individuals per month.
However, per the UN cluster responsible for IDP data, this
increase is attributable to a combination of factors,
including increased capacity of the Ministry of Displacement
and Migration (MODM) to register IDPs; improved transfer of
data from the governorates to the central office in Baghdad;
enhanced access (in the case of Baghdad) by IDPs to local
MODM offices; some new displacement caused by inter-communal
violence and military operations; and improved security in
various areas to which IDPs may feel safer relocating because
it is linked to their own tribal, sectarian or ethnic
affiliation. Those areas where increased data entry (versus
actual new displacement) plays a role are Baghdad, the south,
and the north. Anbar is the only governorate where the

BAGHDAD 00003078 002.2 OF 007


provincial government registered the return of 2000 displaced
families during the first half of 2007 to neighborhoods in
Ramadi where military operations had ceased.

5. (SBU) The figures tell only part of the story. Such
large-scale displacement in Iraq is producing potentially
permanent social and religious segregation, which in turn may
engender long-term political consequences for the country.
The size and pace of displacement may exhaust the absorptive
capacity of host communities, which will increase Iraqi
dependence on external assistance. Iraqi officials in some
areas have responded to ongoing displacement by blocking new
IDP registration, and nearly half of IDPs do not have access
to the Public Distribution System (PDS). Lack of strong
national and provincial coordination mechanisms has, among
other things, led to short-term solutions for assistance that
may prove unsustainable over the long run and may detract
from the ability to devise a broader strategy.

--------------
Who is an IDP?
--------------

6. (U) Iraq,s population includes people displaced under
diverse circumstances at different times, and who thus
possess varying levels of coping mechanisms and needs. As
one example, USAID/OFDA met on August 16 with the Dohuk IDP
Coordinator for the province. In his estimation, the various
waves of displacement since 1975 have cumulatively led to a
situation in which 800,000 of Dohuk,s 900,000 people could
be characterized as displaced. Various events contributed to
this large-scale displacement, including the
de-villagisation, campaign; the Anfal campaign; the
Arabization, campaign; fighting during the mid-nineties
between the two Kurdish parties, and between the PKK and the
Turkish military; Kurds expelled to Iran in the 1970s and now
returning with no homes; Iraqis who fled
government-controlled territory under Saddam; Iraqis who fled
the early stages of the war in 2003 and the ongoing fighting
between MNF-I and insurgents; and the post-February 2006
surge in displacement.

7. (SBU) Another example of the diversity of Iraq,s
displaced is that of the Kurdish Herki tribe in Ninewa, who
collaborated with the Saddam regime in the struggles against
the Barzani and Talibani Kurds in the 1980-1990s and who were
settled in poor conditions in military forts in Bartallah,
Ninewa. With the fall of Saddam, thousands more Herki from
across northern Iraq fled to Bartallah and settled in several
more of the military forts, living in similarly squalid
conditions, where food, water, and health services continue
to be scarce. Some 300 families now reside in each of five
forts, with thousands of other Herki living in tents and
other primitive structures nearby. The Mosul PRT is currently
seeking a durable solution for this group.

8. (U) The current levels of displacement country-wide are
due largely to sectarian violence in the wake of the bombing
of the Al-Askari shrine in Samarra in February 2006. In its
2007 Mid-Year Review,, the International Organization for
Migration (IOM) depicts Samarra as a turning point that
triggered the targeting of religious and ethnic identities
and movement of IDPs from &religious and ethnically mixed
communities to homogenous ones.8 (REFs (A) and (B).)
Drawing from figures kept by the Ministry of Displacement and
Migration (MODM), IOM states that whereas approximately
400,000 Iraqis were displaced between 2003 and 2005 as a
result of military operations, crime, and general insecurity,
the period of February 2006 through June 2007 saw
approximately 1.1 million Iraqis displaced. This massive
increase in displacement occurred primarily due to sectarian
violence, though general lawlessness and, to a lesser extent,
military operations, also played a role. This analysis, as
well as a good deal of what is known of current displacement,
is based on a system of elaborate, continuous surveys and
needs assessments conducted so far in 15 governorates by
various non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and
consolidated by IOM to complement the registration work
conducted by MODM. The USG funds the surveys and the overall
consolidation and analysis.

8. (U) IOM also reports that while IDPs are predominantly
Arab, minorities are increasingly targeted. The current IDP
breakdown in Iraq, by ethnicity, includes Arabs (93 percent);
Assyrians (four percent); Kurds (one percent); Turkmen (one
percent); and others (one percent). Moreover, the proportion
of each sect or group displaced in the first half of 2007
roughly matches its proportion of the overall population of
Iraq: Shia Muslim (64 percent); Sunni Muslim (32 percent);
Christian (four percent); Yazidi (0.01 percent); Sabean
Mandean (0.002 percent).


BAGHDAD 00003078 003.2 OF 007


--------------------------------------------- -
Baghdad ) Different Sources, Different Numbers
--------------------------------------------- -

9. (SBU ) Although Baghdad province contains only about 25
percent of Iraq,s total population, about 69 percent of
Iraqi IDPs displaced since February 2006 originated in
Baghdad, according to IOM data . The post-February 2006
displaced from Baghdad numbered approximately 24,376 families
(146,256 individuals) by May 10, and rose to 30,000 families
(180,000 individuals) on July 16, according to IOM reports
for Baghdad, which are based on MoDM estimates from the
Ministry,s central office. NGO figures compiled separately
from IOM,s data support the IOM statistics. These figures
are substantially lower than the number of IDPs registered
with the Baghdad Provincial Council and the MoDM Baghdad
branch offices, both of which are involved in registering
IDPs in Baghdad province.

10. (SBU) Statistics gathered from the Provincial Council
(PC) and the MoDM Baghdad branch offices indicate much higher
levels of displacement over the past four months. The
Baghdad Provincial Council,s committee for migration and
displacement said on September 3 that about 70,000 IDP
families (or about 420,000 individuals) are now registered as
displaced, up from about 60,000 families at the beginning of
August 2007; and up from 43,000 families at the beginning of
May 2007. The PC said it started registering displaced
families in February or March 2006.

11. (U) IOM says that some of the increase in IDP numbers in
recent months can be attributed to increased data entry by
the MoDM and to the opening of a new branch office in the
Karkh district, which facilitates registration for those
displaced in or to areas in west Baghdad, particularly Sunni
IDPs (who were reluctant to register at an office in a
predominantly Shia area of Rusafa, in the eastern side of
Baghdad).

12. (SBU) A possible explanation for the large discrepancy
in IDP numbers provided by IOM and NGOs, on the one hand, and
by the Baghdad Provincial Council and the MoDM branch
offices, on the other, is that IOM relies primarily on
numbers provided by the MoDM central office, which may be
using outdated data. In July, for example, the director of
the MoDM Rusafa branch office said he had not provided
updated data to the central ministry for six months, and that
his office had registered about 22,500 additional families
since the last time he provided the ministry data.
Furthermore, PC numbers are logically higher than MoDM
numbers due to a lag in data entry and IDPs dropping out at
various stages of the registration process. (See REFs A and
B.)

--------------------------------------------- ---
Displacements in Baghdad Continue at a High Rate
--------------------------------------------- ---

13. (SBU ) Members of the PC committee for displacement and
migration have also speculated that some of the increase in
IDP registrations may be attributed to new benefits the GoI
is considering providing to IDPs, such as a monthly stipend
of 150,000 Iraqi Dinar (ID) for a period of six months.
However, IDP registration forms ask the applicant when they
were displaced, and the directors general of both the Karkh
and Rusafa branch offices said most applicants over the past
four months claimed they were newly displaced. The director
general of the Karkh branch office, which opened March 29,
2007, said that over half of the 5,587 families had
registered since June 1. When asked if he thought the
registrations reflected &catch up8 since the office had
recently opened and provided easier access to those living in
west Baghdad, he said the office has consistently processed
about 200 IDP files per day and that most of the
registrations were newly displaced.


----------------------------------------
Baghdad ) Compensation Paid to Some IDPs
----------------------------------------

14. (SBU) The Council of Ministers has said that it will
allocate money to provide the 70,000 displaced families in
Baghdad province with a monthly salary of 150,000 Iraqi Dinar
(ID) for six months. The PC, the Council of Ministers and
MoDM are still discussing how and when the money will be
distributed. In a separate initiative to encourage displaced
families to return to their homes, the Baghdad governor,s
office has disbursed payments of one million ID to 2,400
families who have returned to their Baghdad homes. Money
has been allocated for 5,000 families to receive the one
million ID payment.

BAGHDAD 00003078 004.2 OF 007

--------------------------------
Baghdad to Halt IDP Registration
--------------------------------

15. (SBU) PC members of the committee for displacement and
migration told PRTOff on September 3 that the MODM
instructed Baghdad,s district and qada councils to stop
accepting IDP registrations as of September 20, except for
applicants coming from outside Baghdad and applicants
displaced from Rashid and Adhamiya. PRTOff visited Abu
Ghraib the next day and confirmed with the qada council that
they had already received the letter telling them that no
more IDP registrations will be accepted after September 20.
(Comment: Post attributes this to the GoI being overwhelmed
with registrations and looking for a reason to cut them off.
Both the Provincial Council and the MoDM Rusafa branch office
stopped accepting IDP registrations in August for a period of
a couple of weeks in order to give them a chance to catch up
with their data entry ) which they have still not done,
despite having the extra time with no new submissions. End
comment.)

-----------------------------------------
Food, Shelter, Employment Needed
USG Responds Through OFDA, NGOs, and IOs
-----------------------------------------

16. (U) Both IOM and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees
(UNHCR) state in June and July reports that approximately 60
percent of post-February 2006 IDPs are living in rented
housing, while an additional 20 percent are doubling up with
host families or relatives, and the remaining 20 percent
comprise a mixture of people living in abandoned public
buildings, former military barracks, or tented camps (one
percent) scattered around the country. According to NGO
surveys, the top three most frequently reported needs in both
2006 and 2007 are food (74 percent), shelter (73 percent),
and employment (63 percent), reflecting a largely urban
population cut off from homes and sources of income.

17. (U) USG assistance to Iraqi IDPs has been administered
through humanitarian programs implemented by USAID/DCHA/OFDA
and the Bureau for Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM)
since 2003. PRM contributed $37 million to UNHCR,s $123
million 2007 supplemental appeal for Iraqi refugees in
neighboring countries, and $18.5 million to the International
Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for its $75.5 million 2007
appeal for conflict victims inside Iraq, some of whom are
IDPs. PRM,s total planned funding for FY2007 is $122.4
million, most of which would go to refugees (as opposed to
IDPs). This includes $1,299,000 for MODM capacity building,
which runs through December 2007.

18. (U) Focusing largely on post-February 2006 IDPs,
USAID/OFDA assists around 500,000 Iraqis, working through
five non-governmental organization (NGO) and international
organization (IO) partners to implement a program that spans
all of Iraq,s 18 governorates and the following sectors:
health, water and sanitation, relief item distribution,
shelter, income generation, host community support, and data
collection and analysis on IDPs conducted by IOM and NGO
partners. Some projects are multi-sectoral and a typical
example would include expanding a school and upgrading its
water and sanitation facilities to accommodate IDP children,
while simultaneously providing jobs for IDPs with the work
involved and supporting the host community through the school
improvements. USAID/OFDA,s 2007 budget of $63 million
includes $18 million in deobligation and reobligation funds,
as well as $45 million in Supplemental funding. Of this, $37
million will be obligated in FY07, with $26 million to be
allocated through an Annual Program Statement in October of
FY08. USAID/OFDA,s Supplemental request for FY08 is $60
million.

--------------------------------------------- ------
Public Distribution System Not Reaching Enough IDPs
--------------------------------------------- ------

19. (U) According to an April 2007 World Food Program (WFP)
assessment, 47 percent of IDPs in Iraq do not have access to
the Public Distribution System (PDS), which has provided food
baskets to Iraqis since 1995. Other surveys break this down
into those with no access and those who report inconsistent
access, but the overall figures seem to range from 39-47
percent without access of one kind or another. IOM reports
that the inability to access PDS rations is worst in Basra
(60 percent with no access), Kirkuk (47 percent), and Babylon
(44 percent). The most frequently reported obstacle to PDS
access is insecurity along food transportation routes, which
prevents food from getting from Baghdad to the governorates,
and also at times inhibits the movement of food within

BAGHDAD 00003078 005.2 OF 007


governorates. The other major obstacle IDPs face is
transferring their PDS registration so that they can access
the food in their new location. One suggestion that has been
raised for addressing this problem is to delink the PDS
registration with voting registration, because the fact that
they are linked makes some governorates reluctant to register
IDPs in their areas of displacement. Another possible,
albeit temporary, solution is for WFP to assist the GOI with
delivery and distribution. According to UNAMI, WFP has
offered the GOI Ministry of Trade assistance with the PDS,
but has not received a response.

--------------------------------------------- ---------------
Ministry Of Displacement and Migration Continues to Struggle
--------------------------------------------- ---------------

20. (SBU) The June 2007 Forced Migration Review, issued
by the Refugee Studies Centre states that, regardless of the
level of resources available, Iraq still &lacks the capacity
to plan the programming of those resources to address the
needs of its population.8 This is an aspect of IDP
management and assistance brought to light by the response to
the current cholera outbreak in the north of the country and
the recent truck bombs in Ninewa. While the current cholera
outbreak in Sulaymaniyah and Kirkuk is affecting more than
the displaced in those areas, its initial stages demonstrated
the lack of cohesion both between the national government and
the provinces, and among different authorities within
governorates. This lack of coordination in turn affects the
ability to mount a timely and adequate response to
emergencies, including new IDP movements.

21. (SBU) Through PRM funding to IOM, the USG has supported
capacity building for MODM over the past two years. These
efforts do not yet appear to have succeeded in building
sufficient capacity in MODM to respond either to crises or to
on-going phenomena, such as displacement. IOM has worked to
re-draft the institutional mandate (basic law) of the
Ministry, and to put together organizational structure, job
descriptions, and standard operating procedures, yet none of
these have been finalized by the Ministry. MODM has
reportedly submitted for review by the Legal Committee of the
Council of Ministers a simplified version of the basic law,
but it has not been passed. Nor has MODM finalized the
national policy on IDPs that UNHCR has worked arduously to
draft with the Ministry. The draft policy, which is
underpinned by the UN Guiding Principles on Internal
Displacement, provides for the establishment of a Strategic
Guidance Committee (SGC), to include key Ministries, the
Prime Minister,s office, and the UN, and the establishment
of a National Coordination Committee on Displacement (NCC),
which would bring donors and NGOs to the table as well. So
far, MODM has held one IDP coordination meeting (on July 9)
with the UN, NGOs, and donor governments and, though regular
meetings were promised, has not followed through. Part of
the problem may be linked to the fact that the MODM Minister
(Dr. Abdul Samid Rahman Sultan) is currently leading more
than one ministry, as he has also been designated the
Minister of Health. The problem, however, seems to be
systemic.

22. (SBU) IOM has contracted to the International Medical
Corps (IMC) to provide technical support and training, and
MODM,s focus has at times appeared to be limited to data
management. Yet a number of problems persist in the
registration of IDPs, in addition to those mentioned above
for Baghdad. (Refs C and D) These problems range from
governorates granting residence only to IDPs who can prove
that they originate from that governorate, to local
authorities ordering MODM to cease registration in some
governorates (making IDPs ineligible for assistance), to
requiring IDPs to be sponsored by someone who lives in the
governorate (as in the case of the three northern
governorates). An IDP,s ability to register affects his or
her access to basic services and food.

----------------------------------------
Other Humanitarian Actors Have Left Iraq
----------------------------------------

23. (SBU) Much of the traditional international humanitarian
community relocated to Amman, Jordan, following the 2003
Canal Hotel bombing in Baghdad that killed 22 UN staff
members. Their departure has resulted in a situation in
which the bulk of the humanitarian community operates via
national staff out of neighboring Jordan, coming and going
particularly to Erbil and the north. The geographic divide
between humanitarian actors based in Amman and those in
Baghdad makes coordination within even the traditional
international humanitarian community extremely challenging.
Three international NGOs continue to operate in Iraq. As far
as USAID/OFDA has been able to ascertain at this point, both

BAGHDAD 00003078 006.2 OF 007


Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF)-Switzerland and Qandil, a
Swedish NGO, have bases in Dohuk (MSF is operating out of the
Dohuk hospital), while MSF-France is in Sulaymaniyah.
International NGOs do not appear to have remained in Baghdad.

24. (SBU) The International Committee of the Red Cross
(ICRC) has a total of 60 expatriate delegates working on Iraq
in the region. Of that total, 13 are permanently based
inside Iraq in the north (Erbil and Sulaymaniyah). The rest
of the expatriate contingent is based in Amman and travels
into Iraq for periods of time. ICRC currently has 385 local
staff in Iraq (this does not include the Iraqi Red Crescent).
ICRC offices are in Basra, Najaf, and Baghdad, in addition
to the two in the north. ICRC is also establishing offices
in Trebil on the border with Jordan and in Arabiya on the
border with Syria. Its Iraq program currently stands at $75
million annually, and it issued a budget extension in May for
an additional $29 million, signaling that the delegation felt
comfortable in expanding the operation. ICRC travels in
unmarked cars and without armed escorts, but is thinking of
slowly starting to introduce the use of its symbol in the
north. The ICRC office in Baghdad was bombed in October 2003
and this event is still very much in the minds of the
delegates. Hence, they are likely to move quite cautiously
before establishing a permanent presence inside Iraq. ICRC
is hoping to do so and has been looking at Basra and Najaf as
possible entry points, but will not act until the security
situation is more conducive to such a move.

25. (SBU) There are national NGOs providing humanitarian
assistance to IDPs, of which the best known is the Iraqi Red
Crescent Organization (IRCO). IRCO is the primary
implementing partner of MODM and appears to have a geographic
breadth that covers all of Iraq. Though there are positive
reports of IRCO distributions of relief items at the
provincial level, there are concerns from a number of sources
about both the nature of their activities and their lack of
accountability with cash contributions. They have also
become associated with tented camps as a solution for IDP
needs, whereas experience has shown that Iraqis are generally
not comfortable with tents as even temporary accommodation;
in addition, tents are inappropriate for the extreme weather
conditions in Iraq during much of the year. USAID/OFDA
received a report recently that, in one instance, IRCO was
not present in a camp it had established and appeared to have
abandoned it.

26. (SBU) UNHCR is still largely focused on Iraqi refugees,
despite its global mandate for IDPs in conflict settings that
resulted from reforms of the humanitarian system undertaken
as of 2005. Seemingly at odds with the global agreement
within the international humanitarian community, UNHCR staff
on the ground maintain that the agency,s role with relation
to IDPs in Iraq is limited to &protection, camp management,
and emergency shelter,8 per a division of labor worked out
among UN agencies. Still, UNHCR is the only UN operational
agency to have placed an expatriate staff member in Baghdad
for part of 2007, and although it currently has none in
Baghdad, UNHCR has said it intends to place someone long-term
as of mid-September. In addition, as stated above, UNHCR has
worked closely with MODM to help draft IDP policy. But when
pressed as to why UNHCR,s $123 million appeal for Iraq
appears exclusively geared toward refugee needs in
neighboring countries and the needs of non-Iraqi refugees in
Iraq (e.g, Palestinians), with no provisions for IDPs,
UNHCR,s response is that it can not appeal for what it can
not implement, and it can not implement in the current level
of insecurity in Iraq.

27. (SBU) The UN,s international ceiling for Iraq is slated
to move from 65 to 95 international staff members in-country
(as opposed to Amman). However, UN staffers have privately
noted to USAID/OFDA that the bulk of the current staffing
allowance is absorbed by security and support units such as
fleet management, and that in reality this includes only two
international staff from operational agencies in Baghdad )
i.e., UNHCR and UNDP ) in addition to a small inter-agency
team of expatriate staff in Erbil, led by the UNAMI
representative (an ex-UNHCR staff member) and including UNHCR
and UNDP. Staff have expressed fear that the increase will
not significantly improve the UN,s capacity to handle IDPs.
Other agencies, such as UNICEF and OCHA, have indicated to
USAID/OFDA that they strongly prefer to be based in Iraq, but
they express frustration with what they describe as repeated
denials by UN security officials of their requests for even
TDY stints in Baghdad. David Shearer has been appointed as
the new Deputy Special Representative of the
Secretary-General (D/SRSG) and Humanitarian Coordinator. He

SIPDIS
comes with strong humanitarian credentials, but is to be
based in Amman rather than in Baghdad. (He is slated to
arrive in Amman on September 12.)


BAGHDAD 00003078 007.2 OF 007


28. (U) The European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO)
began an $8.6 million program in May for Iraqi refugees in
Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon. ECHO is reportedly planning an
additional $5.4 million, which will be programmed through the
Iraqi Red Crescent. (Note: Some donors are reportedly
reluctant to contribute to humanitarian needs in Iraq because
Iraq is perceived as a relatively wealthy country and
because, in the case of European donors, they see it largely
as a U.S. problem. End note.)

-------------------------------
Conclusions and Recommendations
-------------------------------

29. (U) The current trend in net increases of IDP numbers is
likely to continue, and the absorptive capacity of host
communities will depend on the length of the broader conflict
in Iraq. NGO surveys indicate that of Iraqis displaced to
another governorate, only 44 percent express the intention to
return to their place of origin, while 81 percent of those
displaced within their own governorate say they intend to
return to their homes of origin, once security permits.
Overall, 55 percent of those assessed intend to return to
their place of origin, 23 percent intend to settle in their
current location, 19 percent express a desire to resettle in
a third location, and two percent were undecided. Given
these numbers, the most logical and time-tested strategy is
to assist IDPs in place with humanitarian funding, and plan
for a return of approximately half of total IDPs with
longer-term resources.

30. (U) Humanitarian resources generally focus on the most
vulnerable. Depending on resources, USAID recommends
bolstering the support currently invested in host
communities, as this is more sustainable and appropriate than
camps or permanent new housing. This support includes
enhancing host/guest family and neighborhood support services
to provide needed shelter and basic services (to include both
non-food items and, for the most vulnerable, food) in a
manner that would not be perceived as legitimizing the
"permanent" separation/segregation of groups. Not only does
permanent new housing exceed current humanitarian resources,
but it runs the risk of legitimizing social segregation and
permanent demarcation of group boundaries. It is also
crucial to repair and upgrade existing housing, which can be
done at a relatively low cost, and can be done both quickly
and carried out in many areas simultaneously. Such a measure
could address and enhance shelter and living conditions for
all groups in the short term, and delay the need for highly
contentious permanent housing construction. In addition,
micro-credit and micro-finance programming, as well as other
employment support, should be emphasized. At the same time,
USAID and other USG actors should engage in longer-term
planning for IDP housing and, where possible, reintegration
or resettlement.

31. (SBU) USAID further recommends that the USG:

-- immediately engage with MODM to continue registration in
Baghdad after September 20, and to remove barriers to
registration in other provinces;
-- work with the GOI Ministry of Trade to accept the World
Food Program,s offer to assist with the Public Distribution
System;
-- work with the UN in New York to move the UN Humanitarian
Coordinator,s base to Baghdad, along with at least one OCHA
staff; and
-- explore further GOI capacity-building needs at both
national and provincial levels for MODM to assist IDPs and
respond to emergencies in general.
BUTENIS

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Ramzy Baroud: Year in Review Will 2018 Usher in a New Palestinian Strategy

2017 will be remembered as the year that the so-called ‘peace process’, at least in its American formulation, has ended. And with its demise, a political framework that has served as the foundation for US foreign policy in the Middle East has also collapsed. More>>

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North Korea: NZ Denounces Missile Test

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Campbell On: the US demonising of Iran

Satan may not exist, but the Evil One has always been a handy tool for priests and politicians alike.

Currently, Iran is the latest bogey conjured up by Washington to (a) justify its foreign policy interventions and (b) distract attention from its foreign policy failures.

Once upon a time, the Soviet Union was the nightmare threat for the entire Cold War era – and since then the US has cast the Taliban, al Qaeda, and Islamic State in the same demonic role. Iran is now the latest example…More


Catalan Independence:
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