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Access to Durable Solutions Among IDPs in Iraq: Livelihoods and Economic Security in Displacement

Georgetown Univ.
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When the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) defined eight criteria to measure each of three defined durable solutions for internally displaced persons (IDPs)—return to the place of origin, local integration in areas, and relocation—the listing order of the criteria is telling: safety and security is first, followed by standard of living, then livelihood and employment.

Once IDPs have secured safety and shelter for themselves and their family, they are then confronted with meeting their basic needs. When state provided services or welfare are absent, most IDPs seek out employment and livelihoods to allow them to fulfill core socio-economic needs.

This report is a thematic brief on the issue of livelihoods of Iraqi IDPs using five rounds of survey data and qualitative interviews from the study Access to Durable Solutions Among IDPs in Iraq. The longitudinal nature of the study allows us to analyze the changes in IDPs’ lives over time and their solutions to the issues they face in displacement. This ongoing panel study conducted by IOM Iraq and Georgetown University collects data from quantitative surveys and qualitative interviews to understand how non-camp Iraqi IDP households displaced between January 2014 and December 2015 by ISIL develop and adjust strategies over time to access a “durable solution” to their displacement.

The households in the study are part of the non-camp population displaced from the governorates of Anbar, Babylon,
Baghdad, Diyala, Kirkuk, Ninewa, and Salah al-Din to one of four governorates where the study was fielded: Baghdad, Basra, Kirkuk, and Sulaymaniyah.

Access to Durable Solutions Among IDPs in Iraq tracks both IDP households who have remained in the same location throughout their displacement (IDPs) and the households who were displaced and returned to their places of origin (Returnees). In Round 5 (October 2019-January 2020), 61 per cent of IDPs to whom the study generalizes resided in Baghdad; approximately 2 per cent were in Basra; 28 per cent in Kirkuk, and approximately 9 per cent in Sulaymaniyah. Most of the 1,015 returnee households in the study sample have returned to Anbar (46%) followed by Ninewa (18%). This report conveys findings among those IDPs who are have remained in the same location throughout their displacement.