Iraq + 1 more

Iraq Situation: UNHCR Flash Update - 21 May 2017

Situation Report
Originally published




Internally displaced Iraqis verified as being currently displaced from Mosul and surrounding areas since military operations to retake the city began on 17 October 20161

485,000 IDPs, returnees and members of the host community from Mosul and surrounding areas assisted by UNHCR since 17 October 2016.

13,125 family plots currently occupied out of 18,736 family plots (for some 106,000 people) in UNHCR built camps ready to receive IDPs displaced from Mosul and surrounding areas

3 million IDPs since January 20142

253,992 Iraqi refugees hosted in countries in the region, and 16,997 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


Over 32,000 persons reportedly fled west Mosul in three days, between 18 and 20 May. Most are from northwest neighbourhoods in Mosul, where the fighting is ongoing. Internally displaced persons (IDPs) are transported by the government or the military to Hammam Al-Alil screening site, 20 kilometres south of Mosul, where they undergo security clearance before moving onwards to camps or urban areas. The majority of IDPs reportedly relocate to east Mosul, using private transportation.

Movement from camps to urban and peri-urban areas in east Mosul increasing.
Significant numbers of IDPs are submitting their application to leave camps around Mosul to return to their places of origin or relocate to urban areas while waiting for their homes to become accessible. The rising temperatures, which are particularly hard to cope with inside tented shelters, are increasingly mentioned by IDPs as the main reason to leave camps. A number of families interviewed by UNHCR teams in camps around Mosul state that they intend to move to urban areas in Mosul in the hope of finding work to pay for more comfortable accommodation. Between 11 and 18 May, over 11,000 persons returned or relocated to Mosul, according to the Government.


New report: residential and commercial sites extensively damaged in Mosul.
According to a multi-site damage assessment released by UN-Habitat today (21 May), neighbourhoods northwest of the Old city suffered extensive damage in the past three weeks, with fighting ongoing to retake neighbourhoods under extremist groups’ control.
Between 26 April and 11 May, 171 residential buildings were identified as severely damaged or completely destroyed in northwest Mosul. In total, since August 2016, the report finds that 3,000 residential and commercial sites have been extensively damaged in Mosul. Only severely damaged and completely destroyed buildings can be identified with satellite imagery and the amount of damaged buildings is expected to be significantly higher in the city.

Armed groups claim coordinated attacks in central and southern Iraq. As military operations to retake Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, are ongoing, a series of bombings struck residential and commercial areas in Baghdad, Basra, and Salah alDin on 18 and 19 May, causing numerous civilian casualties including fatalities. Attacks in retaken areas such as Salah al-Din continue to affect the sustainability of returns.


Over 485,000 persons in need of assistance have been supported by UNHCR in and outside of camps since the start of the military operations to retake Mosul in October 2016. Since October 2016, about 145,000 persons in need of assistance were supported out of camps with essential household items including blankets and mattresses, hygiene kit, stoves, kitchen set, heating fuel, heater, jerry cans for water or for fuel, and plastic sheeting. In addition, over 339,000 IDPs have been assisted by UNHCR in camps around Mosul: UNHCR’s partners provide camp management support, protection services, shelter support and essential household items to IDPs across 11 camps built by UNHCR or the Government around Mosul.

UNHCR and partners are consolidating their presence at points along displacement routes. To provide emergency assistance and protection to IDPs as early and regularly as possible during displacement, UNHCR has trained a partner and deployed teams across identified points in and around west Mosul, in close collaboration with relevant authorities.

UNHCR needs USD 212 million in 2017 to continue providing urgent protection, shelter and camp coordination and camp management assistance to IDPs fleeing Mosul and surrounding areas