Mosul Humanitarian Crisis, 17 November 2016

News and Press Release
Originally published



  • 59,000 people are currently displaced

  • 75% of displaced people are in emergency camps

  • 25% of displaced people are in host communities

  • 47,000 more spaces are available to shelter displaced people in emergency camps

  • 453,000 additional spaces are under construction or planned

  • 69,000 people have been reached by first-line emergency assistance


• One month after the beginning of the military operation to retake Mosul from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), current displacement has risen to 59,000 people. Three quarters of the displaced families are sheltering in camps while the remainder is in host communities, sheltering in private settings or public buildings.

• The number of people displaced in the first weeks of the operation is lower than initially anticipated. However, since the military operation reached the outskirts of Mosul at the beginning of November, the displacement rate has increased significantly with the total number of displaced people doubling in the last 2 weeks. Fighting in the outskirts and inside Mosul city continues to drive displacement, mainly towards the east and southeast.

• Protection concerns define this crisis. Displaced people fleeing conflict are making dangerous journeys to reach safety. They face risks from direct and indirect fire, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices, as well as possible retaliation from ISIL. Civilians face serious risks, including being used as human shields, cross-fire, physical and other forms of violence.

• As humanitarian actors gain access to recently retaken areas, the scope of needs in these communities after more than two years under the control of ISIL is becoming clearer. In some areas, public infrastructure has been damaged, compromising the delivery of basic services, including health care, education, and water provision. Markets have been disrupted affecting the capacity of families to buy food and essential items. Livelihoods have also been severely affected, with a majority of people having little income generating activities.

• Toxic smoke from fires at a sulphur factory and oil wells near Al Qayyarah that were set alight by ISIL as they retreated has affected 14 towns for a period of 25 to 60 days, having immediate health effects on people nearby. More than 1,500 people sought treatment for respiratory complications. So far, the fires at the sulphur factory and one oil well have been extinguished, while efforts continue to cap 19 oil wells that are still burning. The mid- and long-term effects on people's health, the environment, agriculture and livelihoods could be dire HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE

• More than 45,000 people, i.e. 75 per cent of the displaced population so far, are in camps east and south of Mosul in Ninewa, Erbil and Anbar governorates. Close to 25 per cent of the displaced population are in host communities. Shelter is readily available to accommodate a further 47,000 displaced people in seven camps. Construction at other sites is accelerating to create capacity for an additional 453,000 people.

• Emergency response missions close to the front lines have reached 69,000 displaced people with emergency food, water and basic hygiene items within 48 hours. Similar emergency response missions took place to newly accessible areas to provide immediate relief to vulnerable resident or host communities, including in Mosul eastern suburbs. Mobile clinics are providing health care to vulnerable people in hard to reach areas.

• Humanitarian partners have reached tens of thousands of vulnerable people in resident and host communities with various forms of aid, such as food rations, essential household items, potable water, sanitation and hygiene kits, medical care, vaccination and psychological support. Displacement tracking and protection monitoring is conducted on a daily basis.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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