The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has highlighted importance of rebuilding the social fabric in Iraq to ensure that the country can leave its violent past behind.
“The magnitude of the destruction in Iraq doesn’t get any less shocking, but what’s less visible are the social scars that run deep in Iraq today,” said ICRC President Peter Maurer during a four-day visit to the country, which included Mosul, Baghdad and Erbil.
“If Iraq is to get back on its feet, then society must work towards reconciliation. Within that process, safe and voluntary returns without discrimination for all displaced Iraqis who wish to go back to their homes need to be ensured.”
Moreover, Maurer added that the return of the IDPs need to be provided with security, public services and housing at their hometowns.
He also pointed out to the need to find about the large number of people still missing. “Those who are missing loved ones must get the answers they need,” he said. “In Mosul I met families searching for their sons, fathers and husbands.
They told me of the daily emotional agony of not knowing what happened to their relatives. Iraqi society – and its authorities – need to tackle these emotional issues head-on.”
Despite declaring victory against ISIS by late 2017, around 1.8 million people are still displaced, with millions of civilians, especially in northern and western provinces of Iraq, were forced to escape their homes in mid 2014 after ISIS took over one third of the Iraqi territory.
On Tuesday, Maurer concluded a 5-day visit to Iraq that started on Friday.