(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM))
NEW YORK, 13th January, 2018 (WAM) -- The number of Iraqis returning to their area of origin has surpassed those internally displaced for the first time since December 2013, when the country became engulfed in conflict with Daesh, the United Nations migration agency said Friday.
"Iraqis who remain displaced are among the most vulnerable, as they face obstacles to return, including damage or destruction of their home and local infrastructure, financial limitations and other constraints," said Gerard Waite, chief of the International Organisation for Migration, IOM, mission in Iraq.
Over the past four years, the country has been deeply affected by the conflict with Iraq's victory over Daesh, which led to the displacement of nearly six million people, IOM stated.
On 9th December, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced Iraq's victory over Daesh and by the end of the year, IOM had identified 3.2 million people who had returned back to their place of origin – while a staggering 2.6 million remained displaced.
Following improved security in retaken areas, a sizable number of internally displaced persons, IDPs, have returned home to mainly the three governorates worst affected by Daesh's occupation, accounting for 86 percent of displaced Iraqis.
According to an IOM statement, more than 1.2 million people returned to the governorate of Anbar; nearly 975,000 to Ninewa; and close to 460,000 to Salah al-Din.