Iraq Situation: UNHCR Flash Update - 9 July 2017
On 9 July, nearly nine months after the launch of military operations to retake Mosul city, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the liberation of Mosul. The announcement, came amid reports of ongoing fighting in pockets of the Old City still under armed extremist groups’ control.
More than 5,500 buildings in Mosul's Old City need repair, according to preliminary analysis by the United Nations. The operation to retake Mosul has damaged thousands of structures in the historic Old City and destroyed nearly 500 buildings, satellite imagery released by the United Nations on 6 July showed. The destruction is far greater than expected and is likely to cost billions of dollars to rehabilitate. The Old City, 17 July district, and areas around Mosul airport are the most heavily affected parts of the city.
Internally displaced persons (IDPs) from west Mosul continue to arrive at transit sites east and south of Mosul. At least 4,800 persons fled the Old City in west Mosul between 6 and 7 July. IDPs from Tel Afar and several families from Sinjar were also received in Hammam Al-Alil screening site, south of Mosul. On 9 July, as the city was being retaken by government forces, a steady flow of IDPs was reportedly received at Ninewa Hotel, the main mustering point located near Mosul Woods, in east Mosul. IDPs arriving at the main screening sites receive immediate humanitarian assistance consisting of water, ready to eat food packages, and emergency medical assistance. Close to 700,000 persons have fled west Mosul since February 2017, when the operations to retake the western part of the city began.
About 2,000 IDP returnees to Mosul are recorded daily, according to the Ministry of Migration and Displacement (MoMD). About 228,000 persons have returned to east Mosul, according to MoMD, while at least 827,000 persons1 remain displaced due to the military operations which began in October 2016. As returns are expected to accelerate once Mosul is under full Government control, humanitarian partners are working with local authorities on plans to rehabilitate health, water and energy infrastructure.
An estimated 9,000 IDPs are currently stranded in Tel Afar, south of Mosul. The displaced families are sheltered in dire conditions in an informal camp, some for over seven months. New arrivals continue to be received at the camp: 265 IDPs reportedly arrived during the past week. UNHCR is working closely with the protection cluster, humanitarian partners, and relevant authorities for these families to be granted access to safety.
As military operations to retake Mosul draw to an end, ongoing humanitarian assistance to vulnerable families impacted by the conflict is key. UNHCR and its partners have assisted over 570,000 persons since military operations to retake Mosul began October 2016. UNHCR will continue to provide shelter, basic household items, and protection support to families in need of assistance. This includes support to the 192,000 IDPs currently sheltered in the 18 camps set up or managed by UNHCR and its partners since July 2016, in response to the Mosul emergency. UNHCR and humanitarian partners are committed to continue to advocate with Iraqi authorities for civilians’ rights to be respected including due process of law and access to safety.
Of UNHCR’s overall funding requirements of USD 212 million in 2017 to provide protection, shelter and camp coordination and camp management assistance to IDPs in Mosul, USD 126 million are urgently required to meet critical needs of vulnerable children, women and men displaced from and returning to Mosul.