On June 13th 2016, the Kurdistan Regional Government and UNHCR jointly launched the report of the profiling study Displacement as challenge and opportunity in Erbil, Iraq. Through collaboration with the Erbil Statistics Directorate, the Joint Crisis Coordination Centre (JCC), UNOCHA, IOM, UNFPA, UNHABITAT and JIPS, findings will inform a comprehensive response to the displacement crisis in the area.
More than 40 agencies and consulates were present for the launch. “We see the profiling exercise as an essential first step,” said Mr. Nawzad Hadi, the Governor of Erbil Governorate, who looks forward to developing a sustainable response alongside humanitarian partners to improve the living standards of all urban population groups living in displacement-affected areas of the Governorate.
With large waves of displacement since 2011, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR-I) hosts over one million displaced persons, putting pressure on the region’s limited resources. In Erbil Governorate, a quarter of its two million population is either a refugee or a displaced Iraqi, with the majority of the Governorate’s displaced families living outside of camps.
The methodology used for the profiling benefited from the close collaboration of the Erbil Refugee Council, the Erbil Statistics Directorate and UNHCR. Together the technical partners used innovative approaches to analyse displacement in urban settings. “Most of the displaced population live in urban areas, along with the local population,” reminded Jozef Merkx, UNHCR Coordinator for the KR-I. Because of this, an area-based approach was needed “which takes into account the perspective of host communities, and the response capacity of the government, in order to design relevant, comprehensive response plans.”
JIPS provided technical support to partners throughout the process, and is now supporting in similar exercises in other regions of the country.