Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) The number of Iraqi refugees across the country stands near three million, the Iraqi Displacement and Migration Ministry said Thursday, saying it prepares for further flows of displaced civilians.
Minister Jassem al-Jaff said the number of refugees across the country currently stands at 2.9 million. Those, he said, include two millions from Nineveh alone.
He said the ministry had completed all preparations for humanitarian response to future refugee flows as anticipated operations launch for the recapture of Islamic State havens in Nineveh’s Tal Afar, Kirkuk’s Hawija and Salahuddin’s Shirqat.
Earlier on Thursday, Nour-Eddin Qablan, vice president of the Nineveh province council, said 50% of displaced civilians had returned to their home regions in western Mosul.
Iraq’s U.S.-backed offensives against Islamic State militants since October have displaced at least one million people. Iraqi authorities plan to repatriate civilians to their home regions by the end of this year.
The government said it totally recaptured the city early July.
Civilians had reportedly been shot by IS snipers while fleeing areas under the fighters’ control, and had also endured medicine and food shortages at refugee camps.
The war had dealt a severe damage to the city’s infrastructure, with United Nations officials saying the rehabilitation of the city needs more than one billion dollars.