History, Present and Future

Assisted Voluntary Returns. In the past 10 years, war and political instability has caused millions of Iraqis to emigrate. IOM has been providing assistance to returning Iraqi migrants for over ten years.

The IOM-Iraq Mission was set up in April 2003 in response to the overwhelming humanitarian need following the collapse of the former regime. It was clear from the start that it had a challenging time ahead of it. Working in a wide range of areas, across almost every governorate in Iraq, IOM staff quickly made an impact, despite the increasingly chaotic situation. In August 2003, following the bombing of the canal hotel, IOM's programme coordination was transferred to Jordan and Kuwait, with national staff members and NGO partners remaining inside Iraq.

Despite this less than ideal situation, IOM has continued to work effectively in Iraq. As of February 2005, it has channeled more than 37 million dollars into a projects which assist the displaced, the unemployed, the dispossessed, the vulnerable, the stranded and the sick. In addition to these broad areas of assistance, it also provides capacity-building and technical assistance to various Iraqi Ministries, government departments and commissions, such as the Iraq Property Claims Commission, which has greatly increased their capacity and impact on the ground.

IOM's programme activities for Iraq are integrated within the UN Strategic Plan for 2004/5.

Though not formally part of the United Nations, IOM works in partnership with UN agencies and other International and non-governmental organizations. As the leading international organization for migration, it is currently part of the 23-agency UN Country Team for Iraq. IOM's programme activities for Iraq are integrated within the UN Strategic Plan for 2004/5, which incorporates humanitarian assistance, reconstruction efforts, technical assistance and development needs in Iraq, including coordination with the Iraqi Government. It also coordinates the humanitarian assistance of its various agencies through the 'Cluster' system.

The seven clusters
A Agriculture, Food Security, Environment and Natural Resources Management
B Education and Culture
C Governance and Human Development
D Health and Nutrition
E Infrastructure Rehabilitation
F Refugees, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and Durable Solutions
G Support to the Electoral Process

Headed by task managers, the clusters are better placed to work with the Iraqi government, civil society organizations and other institutions to insure that assistance promptly and fairly reaches the Iraqi people.

IOM Iraq is integrated into the three of the seven programme clusters; Governance and Human Development, Health and Nutrition, Refugees, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and Durable Solutions.


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Who supports our work?
IOM is an inter-governmental organization with 118 member states and 20 observer states. Funding for its Iraq Programmes comes from The European Commission and European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) and the governments of Australia, Denmark, Finland, France, The State of Kuwait, The Netherlands, Portugal and The United States of America.

IRI. IOM offers expatriate Iraqis who have migrated to other countries and achieved professional success abroad the possibility to undertake short-term consultancies of up to one year in Iraq.
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