Iraq Situation: UNHCR Flash Update - 17 July 2017
Security Council recognizes the United Nations’ ongoing partnership with the Government of Iraq to stabilize the country. In a statement, the United Nations’ Security Council (SC) called on all Iraqis to continue working toward this important task, advocating a redoubled focus on national reconciliation and the safe and voluntary return or reintegration of the millions displaced, and urging accountability for all abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law. The SC, which unanimously voted to extend the mandate of United Nations Assistance Mission to Iraq (UNAMI) until 31 July 2018, also called upon the Iraqi Government to continue providing security and logistical support to UNAMI’s presence on the ground.
While no new displacement has been reported from west Mosul, IDPs previously displaced regularly return to west Mosul for short reconnaissance visits, reportedly assessing conditions for return. The main mustering point in east Mosul, near Ninewa Hotel, is predominantly used by IDPs currently sheltered in east Mosul and going back to west Mosul for go-and-see visits, to check on their property. An estimated 2,500 IDPs reportedly travelled back and forth between 14 and 16 July, while no arrivals of newly displaced persons were recorded at the site. Rents in east Mosul are reported to be rapidly increasing, pushing IDPs to consider returning home.
However, the availability of basic services such as drinking water and electricity, the level of destruction and contamination, and the availability and affordability of basic grocery items remain key considerations for IDPs considering whether to return to their places of origin in west Mosul in the immediate future, according to IDPs interviewed by UNHCR’s protection partner at the mustering point.
At least 222,000 Iraqis who fled Mosul and surrounding areas after October 2016 have returned to their areas of origin1 : the majority (two thirds) to east Mosul and villages around, while the rest returned to west Mosul. Ninety-five per cent (784,000) of the persons still displaced from Mosul and surrounding areas following the start of the military operations to retake in October 2016 are sheltered in Ninewa Governorate1 , of which Mosul is the capital. The remaining 5 per cent are displaced further away, across 12 Governorates in Iraq.
Qaymawa camp, northeast of Mosul, to be closed and the camp population moved to camps nearby. Following the announcement by authorities of plans to close Qaymawa camp and transfer its approximately 900 residents to nearby Nargizlia 1 and 2 camps, UNHCR liaised with authorities, camp management and IDP leaders to discuss key steps for the eventuality that the camp will be closed. UNHCR also advocated with authorities for IDPs to be consulted and be able to determine where they are moved. To enable IDPs to make an informed decision, UNHCR’s protection partners will organize go-and-see visits to the Nargizlia camps, and to other camps as needed, and continue to assess IDPs’ intentions. Qaymawa (formerly known as Zelikan) camp was the first camp to open following the start of military operations aimed at retaking Mosul in October 2016.
Of UNHCR’s overall funding requirements of USD 212 million in 2017 to provide protection, shelter and camp coordination and camp management assistance to IDPs in Mosul, USD 126 million are urgently required to meet critical needs of vulnerable children, women and men displaced from and returning to Mosul.