Iraq Situation: UNHCR Flash Update - 17 April 2017
Displacement from west Mosul to Hammam Al-Alil slows down due to flooding. Bridges across the Tigris River were closed as a result of flooding, slowing the outflow of IDPs from west Mosul. According to figures provided by the authorities, more than 3,200 families, consisting of over 22,000 individuals, arrived to Hammam Al-Alil during the past four days. The flooding caused this number to be sharply reduced between Friday and Saturday, from more than 7,700 individuals to just 4,500. Numbers remained at a reduced level on Sunday, when just 4,230 individuals arrived in Hammam Al-Alil.
IDPs from Ninewa flee to Baghdad. During the past week, 131 families (786 individuals) fled Ninewa governorate towards Baghdad. This brings the total number of IDPs from Ninewa in Baghdad to 2,622 families (15,732 individuals) since 17 October 2016. Many families reaching Baghdad have reportedly sought medical assistance. Entering Baghdad requires that IDP families identify a sponsor within the governorate.
Returns from Qaymawa camp to east Mosul and surrounding areas have resumed, after nearly a month. In recent days, 38 families of 183 individuals returned to east Mosul. An additional 159 families, comprising 818 individuals, returned from Nargizlia camps since 12 April. Returning families cite family reunification and resumption of employment, as well as policies regarding limits on freedom of movement and confiscation of mobile phones, as motivating their decision.
Flooding blocked escape routes and impeded humanitarian access to Hammam AlAlil. With water levels reportedly rising as much as 2 to 3 meters in southern Ninewa, all bridges across the Tigris River have been closed, blocking escape routes for people fleeing militant-held parts of Mosul. According to reports, the blockage caused hundreds of civilians to cross the flooded river using small wooden boats on Sunday. The flooding has also made the delivery of aid supplies to the camps and urban areas sheltering IDPs east of Mosul significantly more difficult.