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Some Christian returnees again have to leave their homes for IDP camps

BAGHDAD, Iraq — Some Christians tried to go back and restart their lives in their places of origin but then have to return to the IDP camps once again. - Camps for Internally Displaced Persons - Like in Zayoona camp for displaced Iraqis where many Christians are returning back to because they have no livelihood in their original hometowns.


Khlud Hanna is a Christian IDP who lived in Mosul before ISIS.

“I need a salary or money to live. I have no one. How does one live? No one funds me. No one thinks of me. All my sisters live outside Iraq. They don’t have a good life either. I have no one,” said Hanna.

She’s been alone for five years and hopes for the pre-ISIS life.

IDPs like Hanna say their hometowns are ruined and lack security and basic services. In the past week, 50 families have returned to the camp.

They say they are ignored by aid organizations.

“No one takes care of us. No one comes to say what we need to do. They come and collect data and never return. No one takes care of us. That’s the problem,” said Sabriya Alyas, another Christian IDP.

Around 1.8 million Iraqis remain displaced nearly five years after ISIS began sweeping across the country.

Iraq’s Ministry of Migration and Displacement wants to send them back to their homes, but say they are cash-strapped.

“Unfortunately, we were shocked by the passing of the budget. The amount that was devoted for our ministry for 2019, which is 440 billion IQD ($370 million), was sent to provincial councils. This is the same as in 2018. Except some small changes, we don’t see a benefit to our ministry,” said Star Newrozkhan, a migration ministry spokesperson.

Repeated displacement remains a concern in Iraq where basic services such as water, sewage, and electricity are lacking.

The ISIS conflick displaced more than 245 000 Christian families in the Niniveh province alone. More than 6000 of them returned. Those who return then prefer to come back to the camps.

Camp in Iraq

Reporting by Halkawt Aziz

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