Wednesday, 08 April 2015 15:32

IOM Launches Report “Iraqi Returnees from Syria Following the 2011 Crisis”

Iraq -IOM Iraq’s report “Iraqi Returnees from Syria Following the 2011 Syria Crisis” published this week, assesses the living conditions of Iraqis who fled to Syria to escape violence and persecution in Iraq and later, since 2011, returned to Iraq, seeking refuge from the civil conflict in Syria.


The study provides insight into the displacement trends, living conditions, vulnerabilities, and the immediate, mid-term and long-term needs of Iraqis who were refugees in Syria and have now returned to Iraq.

More than 1,300 returnee households were interviewed in the regions of Central Iraq, Southern Iraq and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). Qualitative data was also gathered in focus groups conducted in the three regions, including Anbar Governorate. Data collection was conducted in May–-June 2014.

Fifty-two per cent of the sample was able to return to the home they had left behind when first fleeing Iraq. The remaining 48 per cent had to find other housing in the same region or elsewhere.

The percentage of returnee families with at least one family member working was high, varying from 91 per cent in the KRI and 87 per cent in Central Iraq to 72 per cent in the South. However, 70 per cent of the families indicated that their income was insufficient to cover basic household needs.

The returnees generally expressed strong feelings of inclusion; almost 80 per cent of heads of household interviewed felt closely integrated in their host community. Over 80 per cent of the returnees believed they had parity with the host population in access to education.

The majority of returnees wanted to continue living in their current area, except for those located in the Southern region. Over 90 per cent of respondents in the KRI and Central Iraq wanted to stay, while only 38 per cent of respondents in the South wanted to stay.

Approximately half of the returnees indicated particular family vulnerabilities aggravating their hardship, including chronic illnesses, physical disabilities, psychosocial issues, loss of family members, and single or female heads of household.

The report was written by IOM Iraq with the support of the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), and funded by the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.

Reporting on countrywide displacement figures, IOM Iraq’s most recent Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) identified 2,634,492 Iraqis (439,082 families) internally displaced across Iraq from January 2014 through 12 March 2015.

IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Thomas Lothar Weiss said: “The situation of displaced persons in Iraq needs continued assessment in order to provide informed, targeted assistance to the most vulnerable. Violent conflict in both Iraq and Syria continues to displace thousands every month. IOM Iraq will continue to work together with the Government of Iraq and humanitarian partners to monitor and address the plight of vulnerable populations.

The report assesses the returnees’ situation in mid-2014, and provides a reference for evaluating changes in returnees’ status as conflict has spread in Iraq since 2014. The report can be accessed at:

The most recent IOM Iraq DTM Dataset, Dashboards, and Dynamic Displacement Map, in addition to previous DTM products, can be found at:


For further information, please contact IOM Iraq’s RARTinfo at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Sandra Black, IOM Iraq - Tel: +964 751 234 2550, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Additional Info

  • Agency: IOM

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