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Location: MISSAN Total Visits: 34333

Missan is located near Iraq’s south eastern corner, bordering Basrah to the south and Iran to the east and north. Missan’s historical roots can be traced from 324 BC, when King Alexander III of Macedon (Alexander the Great) built the city of Cherkhina at the meeting point of the Degla and Al-Karoun rivers. Over 40% of the population lives in the Marshlands, which cover Qala’at Saleh, Al-Mejar Al-Kabir, Al-Maimouna and Al-Kahla districts. The security situation in Missan remains relatively calm.


Once an important agricultural and industrial centre, Missan’s economy has declined due to crumbling infrastructure and poor access to resources. The population of the Marshlands relies heavily on the marsh eco-systems for water and livelihoods, which continue to suffer from environmental changes. The unemployment rate is 17%, slightly above the 15% national average. In addition, female labour force participation is very low at 8%, particularly in rural areas, where this figure drops to 4%.


Missan performs poorly – and often worst – according to many developmental and humanitarian indicators. Lack of access to safe water supplies and poor sanitation are coupled with high prevalence of diarrhea and fever in most districts. All districts except Al-Maimouna also suffer poor access to electricity. Illiteracy is above average for both men and women outside Amara, and education levels are very low in all districts except Amara and Al-Mejar Al-Kabir. The youth illiteracy rate (31%) is the worst in the country. Just two thirds of children aged 6-11 are enrolled in primary education, a figure which drops to 39% among rural girls – the lowest rates in the country. In addition, only 7% of rural children aged 12-14 are enrolled in intermediate education.


Missan hosts a large number of IDPs, the vast majority of whom come from Baghdad. Just over half live in Amara district. Three in five IDPs in the governorate are under the age of 18. 80% of IDPs identified shelter as a priority need, while 76% cite access to job opportunities. 71% of IDPs families do not have a member in employment.


Governorate Capital: Amarah
Area: 16,072sq km (3.7% of Iraq)
Population: 824,147 (3% of total)
  Source: GoI COSIT (est. for 2007)

Gender Distribution: Male: 50% Female: 50%
Geo Distribution: Rural: 35% Urban: 65%
  Source: GoI COSIT (est. for 2007)

Population by district:
  Source: WFP VAM (2007)
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