Interim Relief Program for CRSV in Iraq

Survivors’ Grant Scheme in Practice and Recommendations for its Improvement

Authored by: Yazda

Categories: Human Rights, Violent Conflict
Sub-Categories: Countering Violent Extremism, Economic Recovery, Human Development, Mass Atrocities, Migration, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), Violent Extremism
Country: Iraq
Region: Middle East and North Africa
Year: 2021
Citation: “Interim Relief Program for CRSV in Iraq: Survivors’ Grant Scheme in Practice and Recommendations for its Improvement.” Yazda. April 2021.

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Executive Summary

In August 2014, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) swept across the Nineveh Plains and Sinjar, launching an immediate and longer-term genocide and community extermination campaign. Minorities such as Christians, Kakais Shabakhs, Turkmen, and Yazidis were attacked, captured, displaced, and killed. The Yazidi community was targeted by the terrorist group, justified as not being a “People of the Book,” and therefore labeled as unequivocally “infidels.” Within just a few days, 12,000 Yazidis were either abducted, enslaved, or killed, and a peaceful community of around 400,000 people was forcibly displaced from Sinjar.

Since then, Iraq has been struggling to provide reparation to ISIL survivors. After two years of relentless advocacy work by Yazidi women survivors and leaders in civil society, Iraqi President H.E. President Dr. Barham Salih submitted the Yazidi Female Survivors Bill to the Iraqi Parliament. Thankfully, in a historic milestone Iraqi Parliament session on March 2021 ,1, Iraqi lawmakers endorsed and voted the submitted bill, now known as the Yazidi Female Survivors Law. While in legislative deliberations, the Iraqi government decided to provide interim relief measures to Yazidi women survivors. Between April 2019 and July 2019, the Iraqi Ministry of Migration and Displacement (MoMD) announced individual one-time grants of 2 million Iraqi dinars (approximately 1,700$) for 899 Yazidi survivors. However, to date, only 858 survivors have received their dues. The eligibility criteria remains unclear to applicants and their families, with little clarity on why some have receive their grant while others still have not.

To understand the process, identify the challenges, and provide recommendations, Yazda interviewed 100 Yazidi women survivors to better understand their experiences when applying for the grant. The findings suggest that the successful implementation of the grant is impeded by lack of transparency, absence of any outreach mechanism, and no clear assessment protocol. Moreover, the completion of payments of the grant to the remaining survivors is not guaranteed, adding to the unease and frustration of survivors who have not yet received their benefaction.