Iraq Situation: UNHCR Flash Update - 2 April 2017
302,430 Iraqis currently internally displaced from Mosul and surrounding areas since military operations to retake the city began on 17 October 2016
35,337 core relief item (CRIs) kits distributed to families in camps, assisting some 234,000 IDPs from Mosul and surrounding areas
7,869 family plots currently occupied out of 12,497 family plots (for some 75,000 people) in UNHCR built camps ready to receive IDPs displaced from the Mosul corridor
3 million IDPs since January 2014
250,952 Iraqi refugees hosted in countries in the region, and 14,709 Iraqis received in Al Hol camp in Syria since 17 October 2016
USD 578 million requested for IDPs and Iraqi refugees in the region in 2017
Continuous flow of internally displaced persons (IDPs) from west Mosul to Hammam Al-Alil. The government has opened a new camp south of Mosul, Jad’ah 5 camp, where 2,283 families (about 13,000 individuals) have been transferred between 30 March and 1 April. IDPs are fleeing areas recently retaken by the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), and areas of west Mosul still under armed groups’ control. Although the government and some NGOs are distributing food in a small number of retaken neighbourhoods in west Mosul, lack of food and potable water reportedly remains a considerable challenge for civilians in west Mosul.
Some reported that they hadn’t had access to potable water for up to 45 days. IDPs from areas still under armed groups’ control interviewed by UNHCR highlighted the enormous risks taken during their flight, including targeting by snipers and IEDs.
About 5,000 IDPs from west Mosul arrived to camps in the northeast of Mosul last week. Between 24 and 30 March, 826 families displaced from west Mosul were transferred from Hammam Al-Alil to Nargizlia 2 camp, some 35 km northeast of Mosul. This represented a 50 per cent increase in transfers from Hammam Al-Alil to camps northeast of Mosul, compared to the previous week.
UN chief urges greater solidarity with Mosul displaced. During a visit to Hasansham U3 camp on 31 March, just 30 km east of Mosul, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called on the international community to step up its response and do more to help the hundreds of thousands of people from Mosul who have been uprooted from their homes in the on-going battle for control of Iraq’s second-largest city. “There is a huge effort by the regional government [of Kurdistan], a huge effort by the NGOs, a huge effort by UN agencies but we don’t have the necessary resources to support these people,” he added.
UNHCR is currently appealing for USD 212 million in 2017 to continue providing urgent assistance to Iraqis displaced from Mosul – including USD 37 million urgently needed.
ISF is reportedly closing in on Al Nuri Great Mosque in the Old city of Mosul. According to the Federal Police, Iraqi forces are only 300 meters away from the mosque, a location of symbolic importance to the opposition armed groups occupying the city. Iraqi forces are reportedly planning a slow and careful advance in order to avoid destruction in this densely populated part of the city, characterized by a warren of narrow alleyways and ancient houses which pose considerable challenges for military operations. About 300,000 people are estimated to still be living in the Old City.