Iraq Situation: UNHCR Flash Update - 11 May 2017

Report
from UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Published on 11 May 2017

KEY FIGURES

369,594
Internally displaced Iraqis verified as being currently displaced from Mosul and surrounding areas since military operations to retake the city began on 17 October 2016

472,000
IDPs, returnees and members of the host community from Mosul and surrounding areas assisted by UNHCR since 17 October 2016.

12,176 family plots
currently occupied out of 18,736 family plots (for some 106,000 people) in UNHCR built camps ready to receive IDPs displaced from Mosul and surrounding areas

3 million
IDPs since January 2014

253,992 Iraqi refugees hosted in countries in the region, and 15,728 Iraqis received in Al Hol camp in Syria since 17 October 2016

FUNDING

USD 578 million
requested for IDPs and Iraqi refugees in the region in 2017

POPULATION MOVEMENTS

Thousands flee west Mosul daily. Ongoing clashes in west Mosul continue to trigger displacement to Hammam Al-Alil screening site, where internally displaced persons (IDPs) transit for a last round of security checks before moving onwards to camps or urban areas in and around Mosul. According to the Government, close to 11,000 IDPs were transferred to Hammam Al-Alil between 9 and 10 May and several thousand IDPs reportedly continued to arrive today (11 May) at Hammam Al-Alil. According to the Government, since the military operations to retake west Mosul started on 19 February, about 413,000 persons were internally displaced from west Mosul.

IDPs’ movement from Hammam Al-Alil to east Mosul remains limited. The Nimrud (Munira) Bridge, on the way from Mosul to Hammam Al-Alil, briefly reopened on 10 May, after a week of closure due to flooding, but was closed again today (11 May). Lack of access to the bridge significantly complicates IDPs’ travel from Hammam Al-Alil to east Mosul, as they have to cross the Tigris river by boat and use private transportation. As a result, a large number of IDPs arriving at Hammam Al-Alil have reportedly returned to retaken areas in west Mosul after they got security clearance.

SITUATION UPDATE

New arrivals to camps report dire living conditions in areas of west Mosul held by armed groups, with extreme shortages of food, water and fuel. Families living in neighbourhoods still under the control of armed groups are starving, according to reports received by IDPs who have recently fled. They also continue to be exposed to indirect fire and airstrikes in their neighbourhoods, or sniper fire, shelling, and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) if they seek to escape. About 9,000 cases of civilian casualties or fatalities were referred to emergency and field hospitals in and around Mosul since the start of the military operations on 17 October 2016.

RESPONSE UPDATE

Humanitarian partners work closely with the Government to ensure IDPs in Hammam Al-Alil 1 camp return voluntarily and safely to west Mosul. About 400 families (2,400 persons) sheltered in Hammam Al-Alil 1 camp, built by the Government, were transferred by the military to west Mosul between 9 and 10 May. Having identified some families in the camp and among the returnees who were not ready to return, UNHCR and humanitarian partners advocated with the Government at all levels to ensure that all returns were safe, voluntary, and dignified. No returns from the camp have been reported on 11 May, while some 200 families among the earlier group of returnees subsequently came back to the camp.

Humanitarian partners develop an information package to allow IDPs from west Mosul to make an informed decision when leaving Hammam Al-Alil screening site. Information gaps have been flagged by both IDPs and partners in Hammam Al-Alil, with IDPs reporting being unaware of services or space available in camps, camps’ location, or of the option of moving to IDP camps north and east of Mosul. UNHCR and partners, in consultation with protection actors in west Mosul, have developed and are distributing messages in Hammam Al-Alil screening site and reception centre. Key messages include information on basic services available in all camps around Mosul and whether there is space available. Basic protection messages, as well as information for the IDP call centre and ICRC hotlines, are also disseminated.

UNHCR needs USD 212 million in 2017 to continue providing urgent protection, shelter and camp coordination and camp management assistance to IDPs.