Officials in Najaf province have offered a sum of two million Iraqi dinars, about 1,700 US dollars for each displaced family that returns to its original home, residents in the province told IraqSlogger.
The sum would be offered to returning families who decide to leave Najaf province to return to other areas, and would come on top of a sum of three million dinars offered by the Ministry of Displacement and Migration.
Najaf province is home to the al-Manadhra refugee camp, southeast of Najaf city, where over 200 displaced families from areas such as Baghdad, Anbar, and Diyala provinces still reside.
According to media reports in Arabic, several families living in al-Mahadhra camp have expressed desire to return to their original places of residence,
Haydar Khalil Rustum, the head of the Najaf office of the Iraqi Ministry of Migration and Displacement, told the government-run al-Sabah that 126 of the 215 families living in al-Mahadhra camp had expressed a desire to return to the places that they came from.
However, as IraqSlogger has reported earlier, returning refugees have been targeted for attacks. Security improvement in some areas as compared to the violence that peaked in 2006 may not mean that returning to these areas is a low-risk proposition for displaced families, and international refugee advocacy and relief organizations have warned of dangers awaiting refugees that may return before security conditions are fully stable.
It remains to be seen how many displaced families in Najaf, both from within and outside al-Mahadhra Camp, take up the offer of payment to return home, and what reception they might meet upon their arrival.