Official says Diyala refugees circumvent repatriation records to receive aid

Displaced Iraqis. File Photo

Diyala ( Some Iraqis are circumventing omission from the displacement lists in order to continue receiving aid, even after their repatriation, a migration official was quoted saying.

Ibtihal al-Daini, head of the Migration and Displacement Ministry’s department in Diyala, said many refugees abstain from registering as repatriated in order to continue to receive financial aid through smart cards they had been given. She told Kurdish network Rudaw that the phenomenon causes confusion as for grasping the exact number of repatriated civilians in the province.

According to Daini, while the actual number of families who have returned home in Diyala since 2014 stood at 25.600, out of 46.000 registered migrant families, the registered number available at the migration authority is only 1300 families.

The official urged families to approach the migration department to register their repatriation.

Iraq’s U.S.-backed war against Islamic State militants, who took over a third of Iraq in 2014 to proclaim an “Islamic Caliphate”, has displaced more than four million people, according to estimates by the Iraqi government and United Nations agencies. Iraqi cities recaptured from the extremist group had their infrastructure seriously damaged, while refugees have regularly been reported to suffer living difficulties both at refugee camps and after repatriation at their home towns.

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