Iraq: Mosul Humanitarian Response Situation Report #15 (2 - 8 January 2017) [EN/AR/KU]

from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 08 Jan 2017


• 135,500 people are currently displaced as a result of conflict in Mosul city that began on 17 October 2016, an increase of nearly 10,000 people in the last week. Some 15,700 returnees and hundreds of thousands of highly vulnerable residents in newly-accessible areas also require humanitarian assistance.

• Trauma casualties remain extremely high, particularly near frontline areas. In the last week, 683 people were referred from eastern Mosul city to hospitals in Erbil and Dahuk. In the previous week, some 817 trauma cases required referral to hospitals, with most of these injuries occurring just after fighting intensified at the end of December.

• On 8 January, an NGO opened a 50 bed field hospital in Bartalah yesterday, to provide triage, surgery and secondary care. This is the nearest hospital to frontline areas and will relieve some of the pressure placed on Erbil’s emergency hospitals.

• This week distributions by humanitarian partners in eastern Mosul city reached 50,000 people with ready-to-eat food, water and hygiene items.

Situation Overview

On 29 December, military operations in Mosul City intensified causing, over the following five days, a corresponding increase in the scale of newly displaced people in eastern Mosul city. On 2 January, some 4,000 people were displaced in one day from eastern Mosul city; one of the largest daily movements of people since the beginning of the crisis. Since 3 January, displacement numbers have returned to an average of approximately 1,000 people per day. Newly displaced people are largely moving to the south and east, where camps run by government and humanitarian partners are taking in the new arrivals and further humanitarian assistance is provided. People are also seeking shelter with friends and family members in neighborhoods further east of frontline areas, such as Gogchaly.

In areas further east of the front lines, significant changes have occurred over the last three weeks, with markets now becoming more active and better stocked. While there is notable damage to buildings from the recent conflict, many people are now present on the streets, with a sense of normality beginning to return. Vehicles in some areas are now moving freely. According to explosive experts, it is believed that the threat from unexploded ordnance (UXO) and explosive remnants of war (ERW) in these areas is low, except possibly around key infrastructure such as water treatment and pumping stations.

There is no humanitarian access to ISIL controlled areas of western Mosul city, and there are increasing humanitarian concerns for the wellbeing of civilians in these areas. For more than two months, most major trading routes into the western part of the city have essentially been sealed off, as Iraqi forces have advanced to the west cutting the major roads to Syria and retaking areas near the ISIL-held town of Tal Afar, about 60 km from Mosul city. This has, in effect, led to a siege-like situation wherein significantly fewer goods are available in western Mosul. The effect of this on civilians is not well understood, but anecdotal reports from people who have fled to eastern Mosul city and to camps outside of the city suggest that living conditions for some have become prohibitively expensive, with many household goods becoming scarce. People have reported not having sugar or tea for a month or two due to the cost. Bakeries are not functioning in many areas and residents are not allowed to use generators, even if they have fuel to power them. With only some parts of western Mosul receiving electricity, and even then only intermittently, winter conditions have also increased hardships for many people. As many fuel sources have been redirected to ISIL’s military apparatus, and with increasingly high fuel costs, significant numbers of people are struggling to heat their homes. According to anecdotal reports, some people have resorted to cutting and burning their furniture to keep their families warm.

Trauma casualty rates around the front lines remain extremely high. An additional 683 trauma injuries in eastern Mosul city requiring referral to hospital in either Erbil or Dahuk occurred during the reporting period, primarily as a result of gunshot wounds and indirect fire. Health care providers have plans in place to increase secondary healthcare capacity and support current primary health facilities, but significant gaps in trauma stabilization remain.

There are currently four trauma stabilization points currently providing trauma care and referral services near front line areas in east Mosul city. On 8 January, an NGO opened a 50-bed field hospital near Bartalah, 21 kilometres east of Mosul, becoming the closest field hospital to frontline areas of Mosul city.

Humanitarian partners delivered multi-sectoral assistance packages, containing one-week ready-to-eat food rations, water supplies, high energy biscuits for children, and sanitary items, to 16,800 people in the Bakr neighborhood, some 9,000 people in the Qadissiyah II neighborhood, and 24,000 people in the Quds neighborhood of eastern Mosul city. The UN also conducted an humanitarian access/security assessment mission to the Qahira, Qadasiyia and Zuhour neighborhoods of eastern Mosul city to determine modalities for distributing further assistance in these areas.

Between 11 - 28 December, the Ministry of Trade (MoT) distributed food items through the Public Distribution System (PDS) to IDPs and residents in newly accessible areas, including over 1,700 boxes of cooking oil, 5,500 bags of sugar, 1,300 bags of rice, and 6,600 bags of flour. On 29 December, the Ministry of Migration and Displacement distributed food and relief items in IDP camps and newly accessible areas, including 2,160 food parcels, 256 ready-to-eat food rations, 1,160 jerry cans, 1,160 kitchen sets, 1,160 kerosene heaters, and 256 mats.

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