Iraq Situation: UNHCR Flash Update - 21 February 2017

Situation Report
Originally published



160,560 persons currently internally displaced from Mosul and surrounding areas since military operations to retake the city resumed on 17 October 2016 (1)

21,080 UNHCR kits of core relief items (CRIs) distributed to families in camps, assisting some 126,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Mosul and surrounding areas

5,431 family plots are currently occupied out of 11,497 family plots (for some 66,000 people) in UNHCR built camps that are ready to receive IDPs displaced from Mosul corridor.

3 million IDPs since January 2014 (2)

246,649 Iraqi refugees hosted by neighbouring countries in the region, and

12,869 Iraqis received in Al Hol camp in Syria since 17 October 2016

(1)IOM-DTM Emergency Tracking since 17 October 2016.

(2)IOM-DTM as of 5 January 2017.


Displacement from Mosul outpaces returns east of Mosul. For the first time in six weeks in camps east and northeast of Mosul, new arrivals are outpacing returns to Mosul and surrounding villages. About 1,600 IDPs arrived to the camps between 17 and 20 February, according to camp management, while 850 IDPs left the camps over the same period. Insecurity, along with lack of access to affordable food or basic services such as potable water, medicine, and electricity, continues to trigger displacement from Mosul. New arrivals from east Mosul interviewed by UNHCR in camps mention that their neighbourhoods have been regularly hit by indirect fire, while reports of aerial attacks on several neighbourhoods have been received over the past week.

In a new development, about 250 IDPs displaced to east Mosul in 2014 arrived in Nargizlia 1 camp, northeast of Mosul, on 20 February. They report having to leave east Mosul, as the former owners of the houses where they took shelter are returning. Their areas of origin in Wana and Zummar sub-districts northwest of Mosul are not clear for return and security forces have redirected the IDPs to camps northeast of Mosul. It remains unknown how many persons previously displaced to Mosul may still be sheltered there.


Reported evictions of IDPs from Hawiga, Shirqat and Mosul, from Tikrit in Salah al-Din Governorate. On 17 and 18 February, 90 displaced families sheltered in collective centres in Tikrit were reportedly evicted and had their IDs confiscated. Authorities say they will return civil IDs to IDPs when they leave the Governorate. UNHCR is advocating with authorities for evictions and ID confiscation to be stopped.


UNHCR deploys 32 mobile teams to support the urgent protection needs assessment of individuals displaced from Mosul and surrounding areas. 68,000 IDPs from Mosul and surrounding areas have already been assessed by UNHCR protection monitoring teams since March 2016. Assessments reflect that 47 per cent of the households are missing essential civil documentation. UNHCR has worked closely with relevant authorities in camps east and southeast of Mosul (Khazer, Hasansham and Debaga camps) to facilitate the urgent issuance of documentation of IDPs. In collaboration with relevant authorities, UNHCR is now exploring the possibility for mobile teams from the civil status registry offices to be deployed to camps northeast of Mosul, since severe restrictions on movement for IDPs prevent individuals from attending appointments at civil status registry offices in order to get their documents renewed. Anticipating the displacement of up to 250,000 people from west Mosul,
UNHCR is in the process of increasing its protection monitoring capacity through mobile teams.

UNHCR facilitates the reunification of 393 displaced individuals with their families in Kirkuk. The IDPs, who all fled Hawiga, were separated from their families during flight, when some were held back following security screening procedures and then transferred to different camps in Kirkuk. UNHCR protection teams identified the separated individuals in each camp and coordinated family reunification with camp management and relevant authorities. The IDPs, some of whom had been separated from their families for months, were reunited with their relatives between 16 and 19 February.