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BAGHDAD — Of the 2 million Iraqis forced to flee their homes since 2014, as military operations and ISIS attacks escalated, many now find they have nothing to go back to.

Children at Al-Khadra IDP camp with Leen, 12, holding a photo of her sister who died when they first arrived in Baghdad. Photo: Arwa Ibrahim/Al Jazeera

Why it matters: Following the victory over ISIS last year, families in camps like al-Khadra near Baghdad, home to about 100 internally displaced Iraqis, were expected to go home. But the devastation, poverty and a lack of services in the recaptured areas forced many to choose the lesser of two evils and stay in the camp.

  • "I visited my home three months ago, but everything was destroyed," says Hend Ali of Anbar province. "The walls and windows are gone. The foundations [of the house] are gone. It's just part of the roof that remains."
  • "I came back to the camp because there was nothing [in Anbar]," she says. "No water, no electricity, and no work. … If there were basic services, we'd return from tomorrow, even if it means that we sustain ourselves by eating grass.”
  • Dalya Ali, a 31-year-old mother of five, says: "I went back to Fallujah a few months ago. I was forced to live in a tent for three months because everything is gone. It was too much to bear with no water and no place to live, so I came back."

The bottom line: For the Iraqi government, the challenging situation for internally displaced persons will not be resolved until the recaptured areas are rebuilt. Yet, this is a mammoth task, one that is tied to Baghdad receiving more support from the international community. "With so many crises in the region, funds from regional and international donors have shrunk," says Sattar Nawroz, a spokesperson for the migration and displacement ministry.

Go deeper: Read the full report on Al Jazeera.

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 mins ago - Politics & Policy

What to listen for in Biden's inaugural address

Vice President-elect Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, and President-elect Biden and Dr. Jill Biden arrive in Washington yesterday. Photo: Tom Brenner/Reuters

Reflecting both the man and the times, President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.'s inaugural address needs as much reality as poetry.

What to watch ... The president-elect will do both, sources tell me: Biden’s biography equips him not just to deliver a great speech, but also to start putting the public sector back in good working order.

Biden to sign 15 executive actions on Day One

President-elect Joe Biden. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to sign 15 executive actions upon taking office Wednesday, immediately reversing key Trump administration policies.

Why it matters: The 15 actions — aimed at issues like climate change and immigration — mark more drastic immediate steps compared with the two day-one actions from Biden's four predecessors combined, according to incoming White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

Off the Rails

Episode 7: Trump turns on Pence

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Elijah Nouvelage, Alex Wong/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 7: Trump turns on Pence. Trump believes the vice president can solve all his problems by simply refusing to certify the Electoral College results. It's a simple test of loyalty: Trump or the U.S. Constitution.

"The end is coming, Donald."

The male voice in the TV ad boomed through the White House residence during "Fox & Friends" commercial breaks. Over and over and over. "The end is coming, Donald. ... On Jan. 6, Mike Pence will put the nail in your political coffin."

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