1 million displaced Iraqis return home: Official
BAGHDAD – Anadolu Agency
REUTERS photoAround 1 million displaced Iraqis have returned to their homes in areas recaptured from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), according to the Iraqi Ministry of Displacement and Migration.
“Nearly 1 million people have returned to their areas,” the ministry’s official, Sattar Nowruz, said July 26.
“However, more than 3.7 million are still displaced,” he added.
In 2014, ISIL militants overran Mosul and vast territory in northern and western Iraq. Iraqi government forces, backed by U.S.-led airstrikes, have since managed to recapture most of the territory.
Iraqi forces are currently preparing a major offensive to retake Mosul from ISIL, amid expectations that around 2 million people will flee their homes following the onslaught.
On July 25, the European Union allocated 104 million euros in aid for those affected by the ongoing anti-ISIL operations in the country.
Last week, donors pledged $2.1 billion during a meeting in Washington to help reconstruct areas destroyed by the war against ISIL in Iraq.
Iraq has suffered a devastating security vacuum since the jihadist group captured vast swathes of territory in 2014.
According to the United Nations, more than 3.4 million people are now internally displaced in Iraq - more than half of them children - while more than 10 million are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance.