Iraq: Surge in displacement from Mosul
28 February, 2017
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An Iraqi family who fled fighting in Mosul collect aid items at Hasansham camp. Credit: UNHCR/Ivor Prickett
As military operations were launched on 19 February to retake western Mosul, an additional 16,500 people have been freshly displaced – 12,700 of them in the past two days alone. The battle for Mosul has now entered more densely populated areas, including the Al Kuwait, Ma’mun, Al Tayaran and Wadi Hajar neighbourhoods, as well as Abu Saif village.
Humanitarian agencies are working with the Government to prepare sites for new arrivals as they expect displacement figures to grow further.
There is currently enough space to house a further 85,000 people. People are fleeing primarily to Hammam al Alil town, Jad’ah camp and the Hajj Ali and Qayyarah Airstrip emergency sites. They arrive at these locations often exhausted and dehydrated. Emergency packages of food, water and hygiene supplies have been distributed to 8,800 people in camps and emergency sites, in addition to emergency packages distributed to displaced people moving to these locations.
The humanitarian situation is desperate for the 750,000 civilians who remain in western Mosul. Since November, western Mosul has been cut off from its supply routes, in particular the highway from Mosul into Syria. Civilians in many neighbourhoods in the southern and western parts of western Mosul city have no access to the public water network and are potentially accessing untreated drinking water. The re-establishment of a functioning city-wide water network is a key priority.
Humanitarian partners have prepositioned stocks to assist newly displaced people, including 41,700 tents, 49,000 kits of basic household items, and 77,000 emergency shelter kits, but as the fighting intensifies, the challenges remain.