Iraq Situation: UNHCR Flash Update - 27 July 2017

Report
from UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Published on 27 Jul 2017

KEY FIGURES

838,842 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

572,731 IDPs, returnees and members of the host community from Mosul and surrounding areas assisted by UNHCR since 17 October 2016.

263,053 Individuals (54,525 households) impacted by military operations to retake Mosul since October 2016 are currently enrolled in ASSIST, UNHCR’s assistance tracking tool

3.3 million IDPs since January 2014

257,476 Iraqi refugees hosted in countries in the region, and 21,224 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

The number of families returning to Mosul because of reception conditions in eastern camps decreased in recent days. This may therefore be linked to recently extended access to electricity in Khazer M1, M2 and Hasansham U2, where the service is now available 10 hours a day. In addition, monthly food rations were doubled for families with eight members and above. Between 11 and 23 July, more than 1,800 families departing five camps who answered an exit questionnaire cited a combination of reasons for returning to their area of origin. For instance, 83% stated inadequate protection against the heat in the camps as a reason for return, 47% mentioned availability of aid in area of origin, and 40% cited safety in the area of origin.

SITUATION UPDATE

Nearly two weeks after the Government of Iraq announced victory in Mosul, the security situation in west Mosul, Tel Afar, Hawiga and other surrounding areas remains precarious. In west Mosul, sporadic clashes continue to be reported between Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and armed groups in some areas of the Old City. ISF continues to conduct detailed clearance operations in the Old City, looking for any remaining armed fighters and explosive devices. Some estimates say it could take a decade before Mosul is fully cleared of explosives and other munitions. Armed groups placed thousands of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), in rows that go on for kilometres outside the city. The city is also littered with hand grenades, unexploded artillery, pressure plates and complex booby-traps. Many of the explosive devices have been planted around key infrastructure in the city, much of which is damaged, adding to the difficulty of clearance.

Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Ursula Mueller, visited Iraq between 24 and 26 July. During the visit, she noted that the humanitarian crisis in Iraq is far from over and warned that sustained efforts are needed to support the millions of Iraqis displaced across the country.

RESPONSE UPDATE

Planning for new influx of IDPs from Tel Afar. In advance of an expected push by ISF towards Tel Afar, mustering sites in Buwayr and Al Zerat (between Tel Afar and Mosul) have been selected to facilitate potential movements out of the district.

Distribution of emergency shelter kits and sealing off kits is set to commence. In order to help returning families meet their basic shelter needs in damaged homes, A UNHCR partner has assessed 583 shelters in east Mosul while further assessments and identification of vulnerable cases are ongoing. UNHCR has also processed cash assistance for 133 families in east Mosul.

Electrical networks are set up in Hasansham U3 and Chamakor camps at an accelerated pace. Work will be completed for U3 at the end of the week, and for Chamakor in the following week at which point authorities will provide water-coolers and additional water to each IDP family.

Expansion of Kilo 18 camp for expected influx from west Anbar. UNHCR partners have commenced work on expanding Kilo 18 camp in Ramadi district, Anbar Governorate. This will increase the camp’s capacity to host new arrivals of IDPs in the context of the operation to retake west Anbar. Kilo 18 has 996 family plots (876 are currently occupied) and UNHCR is adding a further 512 plots.