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Reintegration in northern Iraq: The time is now for Europe to act

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Release date: 2020-11

This Policy Brief, written in cooperation with Malteser International, is based on an assessment of the current living conditions in northern Iraq (in the understanding to include the Kurdistan Region of Iraq with the provinces of Erbil, Dohuk and Sulaymaniyah as well as the disputed territories comprising parts of Diyala, Kirkuk, Salah al-Din and Ninewa provinces). It is also based on the assessment of the assistance programmes directed towards the reintegration of IDPs and returnees from abroad. This paper provides policy considerations for how European governments and, in particular, the German government—the German Foreign Office and the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)—can support the government of Iraq (GoI) in comprehensive reintegration efforts.

These include:

Creating the structural preconditions for re-establishing lives after return, i.e. safety and security, governance and the rule of law as well as supporting operational needs for reintegration. Acknowledging the challenging environment of post-IS Iraq, where the international community has been trying to facilitate political and other reforms for years, the following considerations suggest a modest but long-term approach towards political and development cooperation. Now, European governments can prevent further violence by supporting the GoI in planning reforms that the public is calling for.