Grants ease return of displaced Anbar families
By Khalid al-Taie
Thousands of families returning to Anbar after being displaced by the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) have received financial grants to help them resettle in their hometowns, an Iraqi official said Thursday (September 26th).
The Ministry of Migration and Displacement's Anbar office has now finished distributing grants to 4,300 returning families, office director Mustafa Hamid told Diyaruna.
These families returned to their former homes in Anbar in two groups, he said -- one group of 2,000 families, and another of 2,300 families.
Eligible families each were awarded grants of 1.5 million dinars ($1,250).
"The funds are not distributed concentrating on a single area, but throughout the administrative districts and sub-districts of Anbar province," Hamid said.
Eligible families are being awarded grants in the order in which they were registered in the electronic database of grant beneficiaries, he explained.
"All categories of families that have returned from displacement, whether from outside the country, from other Iraqi provinces, or from displacement camps in Anbar" were eligible to apply for the grant, he said.
"There is a third and final round of grants, but it is not yet decided when they will be distributed to the 1,900 eligible families," Hamid said.
Once financial allocations are completed and administrative matters related to the distribution are completed, these funds will be disbursed, he explained.
Helping families reintegrate
This year, 50 billion Iraqi dinars ($41.7 million) was allocated from the federal budget for the programme of voluntary return grants, which is overseen by the Ministry of Migration and Displacement, Hamid said.
"A total of 32,000 families who have returned to their original homes are eligible for the grants in all provinces and areas liberated from the terrorists," he said.
Some 6,200 of the total number of eligible families are from Anbar, Hamid said.
"The main purpose of these financial grants is to help families who have returned to resettle in their areas and remain there, and to face the economic and living challenges they may encounter after their return," he said.
The government's goal is to ensure these families are quickly able to reintegrate into their former homes and communities after their displacement, he said.
"There is a great desire by families that are still displaced to return and rebuild their lives, especially with the [improved] state of security and reconstruction campaigns in the province," Hamid said.
Over the past two years, according to ministry data, some 225,000 families have returned to their homes throughout Anbar.
"We are moving to close all remaining camps and put an end to the displacement problem," Hamid said.