Iraq: Humanitarian Bulletin, December 2016 | Issued on 15 January [EN/AR/KU]

Situation Report
Originally published



 Fighting intensifies in Mosul, causing rapid increase in rates of displacement and civilian casualties.

 Trauma care response is stepped up close to Mosul.  Shortages of food, water and medicine reported in Hawiga.

 Damage to homes and lack of livelihood opportunities the biggest barrier to returning communities.

Displacement and casualty rates rise in Mosul

Fighting intensifies causing fresh displacements

More than two months into the military operations to retake Mosul from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), over 161,000 people have been displaced from Mosul city and surrounds by the fighting, 148,000 of whom are still in displacement. Fresh displacements continue, with almost 32,000 people having fled the city since military operations intensified on 29 December.

Urgent needs inside Mosul

The humanitarian community is extremely concerned that as many as 1 million people could be trapped inside Mosul, including as many as 750,000 in western Mosul, where conditions are expected to be dire and hunger is likely to be growing as commercial supply lines were cut off in late November.

The possibility of siege-like conditions in the west of the city is significant, and options for reaching people trapped inside with life-saving assistance are under discussion between the Government and humanitarian partners. Mitigating the humanitarian impact of siege-like conditions is of the highest priority.

Significant gains have been made by the Iraqi Security Forces since the intensification of military operations, and the majority of eastern Mosul is now under ISF control. Civilians in these areas are now better able to access humanitarian assistance. In eastern Mosul thousands of people have received emergency response packages containing ready-toeat food, water and hygiene and household items, but distributions are sporadic, and intense fighting may prevent people from reaching distribution sites. Water is urgently needed in the east of the city as boreholes are drying up and water trucks are finding it increasingly difficult to access the area as road conditions deteriorate following winter rains. In all parts of the city, foodstuffs stockpiled are reportedly dwindling, and commercial routes have been cut since the end of November, causing prices for available foodstuffs to skyrocket.

Civilians still inside Mosul face alarming risks of being caught in the crossfire, and the number of people being treated for gunshot wounds has increased rapidly since the start of December. An alarmingly high number of trauma casualties are civilian, at just under half of all reported casualties. The majority of trauma injuries are a result of indirect fire, and as of 7 January, almost 3,000 people had been referred from Mosul to hospitals in Erbil for the treatment of trauma injuries in the space of three weeks, 47 per cent of whom were civilians.

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