The Return Index Governorate Profiling provides singular analysis and insights on returns at the governorate level, with a comparison of figures and severity of living conditions over the course of 2019.
This report focuses on return dynamics in Ninewa Governorate, the governorate with the highest number of returnees. The report features an evaluation of conditions of return across the governorate at the end of 2019, provides insights on the mass arrivals which took place in September 2019 due to camp closures, and analyses the drivers of severe conditions across geographical hotspots that received an influx of new arrivals during that period.
• Ninewa Governorate hosts 1.77 million returnees out of the 4.60 million returnees in Iraq (38% of the total), making it the governorate with the highest number of returnees. Ten per cent of these returnees are currently living in locations ranked as having high severity conditions, while 32 per cent are living in medium severity locations and 58 per cent in low severity locations.
• While the absolute number of returnees living in high severity locations decreased between January and August 2019, in the last four months of 2019 the trend reversed and the number began increasing again. By December 2019, the number stood at about 174,000 individuals.
• The districts of Sinjar and Telafar host the largest number of individuals who have returned to high severity conditions. In Sinjar in particular, nearly all locations with returns are categorized as high severity – no returnee was found to be living in low severity conditions.
• A little over 52,000 returnees are living in critical shelters (3% of Ninewa’s returnee population), spread across 255 locations.
The majority of these returnees are concentrated in villages around the urban centre of Mosul district.
• Given the large presence of non-camp IDPs, one out of every four locations in Ninewa Governorate hosts both IDPs and returnees, increasing the pressure on the provision of basic needs and recovery resources. Multiple locations in Mosul and Sinjar, for instance, are currently hosting more IDPs than returnees.
• Between September and December 2019, DTM tracked almost 49,000 individuals who left camps for non-camp settings in Ninewa Governorate due to camp closures. Most of them (85%) returned to their districts of origin, while the remaining 15 per cent moved to new locations of displacement, thus becoming non-camp IDPs. The districts of Al-Ba’aj and Hatra host two thirds of these new arrivals.
• A little more than 40 per cent of the camp departures to non-camp locations in Ninewa Governorate have currently settled in locations classified as high severity. This influx points to a likely critical situation for these newly arrived households, from displacement camps to relatively deprived areas.