Iraq: Humanitarian Bulletin, August 2017 | Issued on 1 September [EN/AR/KU]
• Displacement from Telafar doubled in the week before hostilities began.
• Despite uncertainties, preparations in Hawiga and western Anbar go ahead.
• Tens of thousands return to West Mosul, despite questions over sustainability.
• HRP funding stalls, while IHF supports preparations in Hawiga and Anbar.
Military operations displace 20,000 fromTelafar
Military operations to retake Telafar from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) began on 20 August. Mustering points were activated on 14 August and in the week prior to the onset of hostilities almost 19,000 people fled, doubling the total number that fled in the previous three months. Numbers fleeing decreased dramatically in the following days, and by the end of August only one mustering point remained open. At the end of August approximately 43,000 people are displaced from the district.
Local authorities reported about 75,000 people remained in Telafar and surrounding villages in April 2017, but since then civilians began to flee. Under the control of ISIL since June 2014, there was little access to the area. Authorities and humanitarian partners documented 22,000 people fleeing for safety between the end of April and 13 August, although it is believed many more may have fled undocumented during this time.
Dire Conditions in Telafar city
People who fled reported dire conditions inside the city where food and water shortages were critical and they lacked the basic conditions to survive. Many arrived at mustering points exhausted and dehydrated; some had walked for 20 hours in extreme heat to reach safety. Health partners provided treatment for the injured, some of whom were transported to the field hospital in Buweyr. Humanitarian partners provided food and water, kits, health and protection services at the mustering points.
Explosion in Bshar mustering point
Even after leaving ISIL-held territory, displaced people are not always safe. They face a range of hazards as they flee to safety.. A suicide bomber killed two women and a child in an explosion at Bshar mustering point on 29 August. A further 11 people were injured, six of whom were civilians. All were transported by the authorities to Dahuk emergency hospital for treatment. Following the explosion, humanitarian services were temporarily suspended but the mustering point remained open.
The battle for Telafar never reached the intensity of Mosul. A mission by health partners to the city reported it was empty and many of the buildings remained intact, including the hospital. Further assessment missions depend on permission from the authorities but will not take place until after the Eid holiday. Unconfirmed reports indicate that authorities will aim to accelerate the return of civilians to Telafar
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.