Iraq: Mosul Humanitarian Response Situation Report No. 41 (27 July to 8 August 2017)

Situation Report
Originally published


- Large-scale and intense fighting in Mosul is over, yet life-threatening risks for civilians continue and remain diversified.
- Conflict related displacement from Ba’aj and Telafar continues as military operations are shifting focus in the area.
- Protection remains a top priority, and much work will be needed in the rebuilding communities promotion cohesion.
- Trauma casualties continue since the end of intense fighting as returning civilians face risk from explosive hazards in the rubble.
- Humanitarian partners actively continue to seek funding to maintain the high level of emergency assistance for conflict-affected civilians. More funds are required to keep the response on track.

Situation Overview

Pockets of volatility persist as asymmetric attacks by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) members continue to put civilians in danger of being caught in outbreaks of fighting. It has become the norm for civilians trapped in areas of western Ninewa around Telafar still controlled by ISIL to face risks from small arms fire, targeted improvised explosive devices (IEDs), crossfire or by aerial bombardment during clashes between ISIL and the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF).

The offensive in Ba’aj and Telafar has not yet begun, however since the end of April almost 50,000 people fled both cities and surrounding areas. There are an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 people in Telafar city, with another 40,000 in the surrounding villages and broader district, according to the head of Al Muhalabiyah sub-district, Telafar district. Estimates for Ba’aj are still unclear.

There is insufficient data available on the humanitarian situation in Telafar due to a break in the connection between the city and surrounding areas. Humanitarian partners scaled up activities over the last two to three weeks to prepare for increased displacement which is expected once the battle intensifies. Two mustering points were constructed in Boya and Talrad and the petrol station at Badoush was also re-established to serve as a mustering point.

In Ninewa governorate, due to suspected affiliations, highly vulnerable people outside the protection frameworks faced eviction from their homes throughout July. Reports of retributive acts and collective punishment against these families are increasingly reaching protection partners, and advocacy takes place at every level to protect civilians.

Patterns of return are complex and multifaceted. Some research shows that one of the key obstacles to return amongst displaced people is the perception that the places of origin are insecure. However, analyses conducted by the Camp Coordination and Camp Management Cluster through an exit questionnaire from IDP camps indicates an improved sense of security in the areas of origin. Living in tents when summer temperatures regularly reach 50 Celsius is another factor reason why people choose to return home.

Regardless, the risk of attack and the presence of explosive hazards remain real and will continue to pose challenges to returns. The complexity and diversity of IEDs require specialist mine clearance operators and for Mosul alone, early estimates indicate it will take over a decade to fully clear the city.

Trauma permeates communities, whether still under ISIL control for example in western Ninewa, or in retaken areas. High levels of infrastructural damage in urban areas and gaps in the provision of basic services persist. Sporadic pockets of insecurity exacerbate these issues and place barriers to people trying to rebuild their lives. In the short term, spontaneous returns are assisted with humanitarian support. The Food Security Cluster continue to warn that families require food assistance, as well as cash, cash-for-work and income-generation activities for return areas. In accessible areas, families continue to report limited livelihood opportunities, limited access to the Public Distribution System and limited or irregular access to markets.

Since October 2016, and as of 7 August, some 20,449 people from Mosul city were referred through the established trauma pathways – over 14,300 people, about 43 per cent, came from western Mosul alone since February. Approximately 4,500 people were referred through the trauma pathways since large-scale fighting ended in early July. For the Mosul operation, the total number of casualties received at the trauma stabilization points near the frontline reached 12,666 people. The Humanitarian Trauma Referral system, which supplies the most up-to-date information and services on trauma, is on standby for the start of the Ba’aj and Telafar offensive.

The 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan is less than half funded as of 8 August, with some US$459 million of a requested US$985 million received. Due to the shortfall in funding, over half of the projects and programmes under the Plan have not yet started, or were forced to close. Additional funding is urgently required. For example, water trucking continues to be required both in camps and in Mosul city. Over the past two weeks, the daily provision of water into the city increased from 3 million litres to 5 million litres as more western districts open up and partners can access communities. Water trucking reduced in East Mosul when part of the water network was repaired, while about 50,000 litres per day were delivered to two hospitals in eastern Mosul.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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