IOM Assessment Provides Vital Insights into Population Movements in Eastern Afghanistan

Date Published: 
Tuesday, April 4, 2017

IOM released the results of its Baseline Mobility Assessment under the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) in Afghanistan this week, providing a wealth of information on population movements in Nangarhar, Kunar and Laghman provinces over the past five years.

The results were shared with IOM’s partners from the Government of Afghanistan and the humanitarian community at an event today in Kabul.

The DTM is IOM’s information management system used to track and monitor population displacement during crises. Composed of a variety of tools and processes, the DTM captures and analyzes multi-layered data and disseminates a wide array of information products that facilitate a better understanding of the evolving needs of vulnerable populations.

IOM launched the DTM in Afghanistan in January 2017, in response to dramatic increases in returns from neighboring countries as well as internal displacement. Between January 2016 and March 2017, over 775,000 undocumented Afghans returned to Afghanistan from Pakistan and Iran and over 700,000 Afghans were internally displaced by conflict.

The main objective of the DTM in Afghanistan is to enhance the ability of the Government of Afghanistan and humanitarian partners to provide effective, targeted, cost-efficient assistance to returnees, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and the communities that host them.

Under the DTM’s first phase in Afghanistan, IOM sought to put a framework in place to track populations of concern in Nangarhar, Laghman and Kunar, three provinces with the highest rate of return in eastern Afghanistan.

“One out of every five persons in Nangarhar, Kunar and Laghman is a returnee,” said IOM Afghanistan Chief of Mission and Special Envoy Laurence Hart. “With returns and displacement having such a wide-ranging impact on the region, the insights provided by the DTM are essential.”

IOM collected data in a total of 42 districts and 1,368 settlements with existing returnee and IDP populations between January and March 2017. Teams in the field worked with community leaders, local and national authorities and other knowledgeable sources to gather information on demographics, reasons for migration, vulnerabilities and priority needs at the district and village level.

A total of 544,364 returnees from abroad and 246,317 IDPs were identified in the three provinces, together with 65,771 “out-migrants” who left Afghanistan to go abroad and have not returned.

The DTM programme was implemented under the Flash Appeal launched by the Afghanistan Humanitarian Country Team in 2016, and is funded by the governments of Germany, Japan, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.

Following this first phase, IOM will expand the DTM’s coverage to Baghlan, Balkh, Kabul, Kunduz, Paktya and Takhar – six provinces with large displaced populations.

To view the full report, visit the DTM Afghanistan website at

For further information, please contact Matthew Graydon at IOM Afghanistan, Tel: +93 729 229 129,  Email: