A first-hand account from William S. Chemaly, Global GPC Coordinator, Claudia Nicoletti, Yannick Creoff on behalf of the Protection Cluster Iraq and Joanna Garbalinska, NGO Coordination Committee for Iraq
More than two years since victory was declared over the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), millions of vulnerable Iraqis are still at risk. Unable to return safely home, blocked from accessing basic services like water, healthcare and education, and without means to rebuild their homes and lives, the outlook for many is bleak. Massive recovery efforts are still ongoing, but urgent action is required to address the immediate needs of millions of vulnerable families.
Their stories rarely make the news outside of Iraq. Fading international attention and reduced funding for the crisis, coupled with increasing political instability inside Iraq, puts the 1.5 million displaced families, and the 4 million returnees, in increasing danger and risks tipping the country back into crisis. This is not the time to look away. Fragile peace requires robust action. Political, humanitarian, development, reconciliation and stabilization efforts – local, national and international – should not only prioritize the immediate protection of displaced persons and returnees but make sustainable solutions a priority.
What can we do about it?
- Ensure the needs of displaced communities remain on top of the agenda of national politics and geopolitical priorities
- Pull all efforts in one direction: solutions that last
- Keep up humanitarian and protection efforts and do no harm
- Focus on local reconciliation and transitional justice, one success at a time
- Target development and stabilization action to enable solutions that work