Iraq Situation: UNHCR Flash Update - 18 April 2017

Report
from UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Published on 18 Apr 2017

POPULATION MOVEMENTS

Displacement from west Mosul accelerates, notwithstanding severe flooding in Ninewa. Government authorities reported the arrival of 9,300 internally displaced persons (IDPs) to Hammam Al-Alil screening site on 17 April, despite the fact that bridges along the route remained closed. Many of the families arriving said that they had managed to cross the Tigris River by boat. With flooding subsiding and the bridge nearest Hammam Al-Alil again open as of 18 April, restrictions on movements as a result of flooding should soon ease. It should be noted, however, that armed groups continue to closely monitor exit routes, making flight from behind the front line extremely dangerous.

Families leave camps east of Mosul on sponsorship arrangements. During the past four days, 182 families left Hassansham, Khazer, and Chamakor camps pursuant to sponsorship agreements. Under established procedures, applicants complete forms with identification and family composition information, also identifying a sponsor within the governorate where they plan to live. Since the procedure was put in place in January, more than 900 families have left camps east of Mosul to go to: Erbil (419 families), Dohuk (476 families), Kirkuk (7 families), and Sulaymaniyah (4 families).

SITUATION UPDATE

Flooding subsides and bridge near Hammam Al-Alil reopens. With flood waters receding, the bridge connecting areas in and around east Mosul to Hammam Al-Alil has reopened, making it easier for IDPs to reach the site. The bridge across the Tigris River at Qayarrah reportedly remains closed to traffic, however.

As operations to retake Mosul entered their seventh month, the Humanitarian Coordinator issued a statement highlighting the plight of those who remain trapped in West Mosul, and face shortages of food, water, and medicines. Meanwhile, according to reports quoting the head of the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Services (CTS), only six out of 38 districts in western Mosul are still held by extremist groups