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Location: KIRKUK Total Visits: 30990

Located in northern Iraq, Kirkuk (formerly known as Tameem) produces a significant proportion of Iraq’s oil exports. Saddam Hussein pursued a policy of “Arabization” in the governorate, expelling much of its Kurdish and Turkmen populations and replacing them with Arabs (mostly Shi’a) from the south. After 2003, many of those displaced returned to reclaim their homes and property.


Kirkuk's administrative status is under dispute between the Iraqi central government and the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Article 140 of the Iraqi constitution gives Kirkuk the right to self-determination through a governorate-wide referendum, following normalization and a national census.


In spite of the presence of large amounts of oil, Kirkuk governorate experiences little economic benefit from its presence. Kirkuk is aiming to expand its agricultural sector to boost the local economy and reduce reliance on food imports. In 2007, under half of the 2.5 million donums of arable land was being cultivated. 16% of jobs in the governorate are provided by agriculture, compared to a national average of 21%. In addition, female economic activity is low at 14%, falling to 7% in urban areas outside of Kirkuk city.


According to the Provincial Government, the presence of oil has a detrimental effect on the local population, as production uses a significant amount of the governorate’s power supply and negatively impacts the local environment. On average, the public electricity network is only able to supply nine hours of electricity per day to Kirkuk’s households. The governorate’s performance according to most humanitarian and development indicators is good compared to the rest of Iraq, but the variation between areas is large. Daquq district is the least developed, with below average education levels, a high poverty rate and poor infrastructure. 15% of boys aged 6-14 in rural areas are working.


IOM has assessed almost 12,000 IDP families in Kirkuk. IDPs in the governorate suffer major problems with access to food, services and employment opportunities. Only 1% of IDP families has a member in employment. Access to food is a major priority for 94% of IDP families, while shelter (81%) and water (50%) are the second and third biggest needs.


Governorate Capital: Kirkuk
Area: 9,679 sq km (2.2% of Iraq)
Population: 902,019 (3% of total)
  Source: GoI COSIT (2007)

Gender Distribution: Male: 50% Female: 50%
Geo Distribution: Rural: 31% Urban: 69%
  Source: GoI COSIT (est. for 2007)

Population by district:
  Source: WFP VAM (2007)
Reports & Assessments

Monthly Highlight

The report highlights issues facing IDPs, Refugees and Returnees including Christian exodus from Mosul, re-registration in Sulaymaniyah, shelter programs in Missan, and UNHCR's new presence in Kirkuk.


UNHCR, Mar 2010
Download: English, 0.27MB

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