Iraq

Iraq Situation: UNHCR Flash Update - 13 February 2017

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Situation Report
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Originally published

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KEY FIGURES

152,448
Internally displaced persons (IDPs) currently displaced from Mosul and surrounding areas

20,239
UNHCR kits of core relief items (CRIs) distributed to families in camps, assisting some 107,000 IDPs from Mosul and surrounding areas

5,856family plots are currently occupied out of 11,497 family plots (for some 60,000 people) in UNHCR built camps that are ready to receive IDPs displaced from Mosul corridor.

3 million IDPs since January 2014

245,000
Iraqi refugees hosted by neighbouring countries in the region, and
12,139
Iraqis received in Al Hol camp in Syria since 17 October 2016

POPULATION MOVEMENTS

Mosul: 791 IDPs (166 families) arrived to Hasansham and Khazer camps between 8 and 9 February, having fled primarily from north and central neighbourhoods of east Mosul close to the river. Some families were able to flee from neighbourhoods in west Mosul. During the same period, 1,442 IDPs (301 families) departed Hasansham and Khazer camps. While returns have slowed recently due to insecurity in east Mosul, the number of families purportedly returning has been higher than the number of displaced persons this week.

Shirqat: 138 IDPs (23 families) who fled fighting in eastern Shirqat reached safety across the Tigris River between 8 and 9 February, and are being hosted in government buildings.

Hawiga: 222 IDPs (37 families) fled Hawiga to Al-Alam during the same period.

Hassakeh, Syria: Over 450 Iraqis fleeing from Mosul arrived in Hassakeh in western Syria between 10 and 12 February and were transferred to Al Hol Camp. There have now been 12,139 Iraqis received in Al Hol since 17 October 2016.

SITUATION UPDATE

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated that operations to free Mosul should be a "symbol of national reconciliation," and should not serve to inflame sectarian tensions.
Guterres made the comments during a meeting in Istanbul on 11 February.

Extremist groups have carried out a series of airstrikes using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or drones and complex attacks on neighbourhoods in east Mosul, including a bombing inside a restaurant on 10 February. These attacks have resulted in numerous civilian casualties and the insecurity has impacted potential return movements into east Mosul.

Basic services continue to be unavailable in east Mosul. IDPs report that there is no electricity in east Mosul, with households dependent on generators. There are also severe water shortages in many areas following the destruction of the main water system in late January. Humanitarian organizations are distributing kerosene and dry foods in some areas. Elsewhere, items are available in markets but remain inaccessible for most families due to inflation and scarcity.

Protection actors in Al-Shahama Camp have reported increasing cases of mental health issues, particularly among female residents. Several cases of threatened suicide have been noted, reportedly tied to growing despair over the difficult living conditions and restricted movement for IDPs in the camp. 2,490 IDPs (415 families) currently live in Al-Shahama Camp.

UNHCR RESPONSE UPDATE

About 240 families from Khour Sabbat in Qaymawa and Badarash camps have refused to return to their areas of origin although the authorities have provided the requisite clearances. They have told camp management that their houses, along with the entire infrastructure in the village, were completely destroyed, so it is difficult for them to go back home in these circumstances without assurances regarding reconstruction.

UNHCR and UNMAS visited the Hamam Al Alil Agriculture College area on 8 February. UNHCR identified additional space suitable for the construction of further camps for newly displaced Iraqis from west Mosul, and is awaiting approval from authorities to begin work. This space is nearby the 4,000 plots currently under construction by the government.