NRC's Secretary General Jan Egeland in Hammam Al Alil camp outside Mosul, Iraq, where he met displaced families © Alan Ayoubi/NRC
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Millions of displaced people risk being neglected due to the current political climate in Iraq, warns the Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), saying it would shameful to abandon them.
"Leaders must do more to ensure reconciliation and dialogue over political and cultural divides," said Jan Egeland, NRC's Secretary General as reported on NRC's website Tuesday. "Failure to do so will leave hundreds of thousands displaced, desperate and disaffected."
Due to new bureaucratic procedures and checkpoints blocking supplies and movement the ability of aid workers to reach those in need has been severely limited.
"My urgent appeal to the international community is to reaffirm their commitment to Iraqis affected by the conflict," Egeland said.
"The war on the Islamic State may be over, but the battle for Iraq's future starts now."
Only about one-third of those displaced from Mosul during the fight against ISIS have returned home. Approximately 700,000 remain displaced.
An assessment by the NRC found that 53 percent of those displaced had lost important documents including birth certificates and property deeds which make returning home and rebuilding their lives much more difficult.
"Abandoning the 3.2 million people who are still displaced would be not only be shameful but shortsighted," he added.
Many of those living outside displacement camps have a hard time finding work and paying rent, with many families sharing one house and others facing eviction.