This is the second REACH situation overview on the Mosul Crisis since operations to reclaim the city and surrounding areas started on 17 October in 2016. In order to highlight most recent trends in displacement this situation overview will focus on displacement trends following the renewed offensive from 29 December until mid-January, and the subsequent increase of returnees to East Mosul until 13 February 2017.
Since the last Mosul Crisis Overview in November, the entire Eastern Bank of Mosul is now controlled by Iraqi forces, while West Mosul remains under AG-control. Following an initial increase in displacement between 29 December and mid-January displacement numbers have reduced as the Eastern Bank has come under the control of Iraqi forces, resulting in a reduction of conflict levels and increase in access to assistance. In addition to continuing to support displaced population and the ongoing returns since mid-January, humanitarian and government agencies are now preparing for the potential displacement of up to an estimated 250,000 people from West Mosul once upcoming military operations begin.
While most residents of Mosul and surrounding areas stayed put during the military offensive, an estimated 33,200 families (199,200 individuals) have displaced as a result of Mosul Offensive. The vast majority of IDPs have come from Mosul district (79%), with smaller proportions from Hatra (11%) and Tilkaif (7%) districts. Of the families that displaced so far, roughly 77% currently remain displaced, living primarily in 10 emergency camps and sites situated in Hamdaniya (46%), Mosul (42%) and Sheikhan (6%) districts. The remaining 23% have returned to their area of origin in East Mosul City or retaken villages.
The increase in returnees, especially since mid-January, to Mosul City and surrounding villages raises concerns of premature returns as security conditions remain volatile.7 In total, 46,278 IDPs have reportedly returned since military operations began, an estimated 70% of which returned since 29 December 2016. As security concerns and access to basic services improve, further returnees are expected.
While humanitarian and government agencies are identifying and responding to needs in recently retaken villages, neighbourhoods in East Mosul and emergency camps, needs remain especially heightened by a general lack of cash and livelihood opportunities in these areas.
Available data on the humanitarian condition in West Mosul – still under AG control – highlight worsening living conditions as primary trade routes have been cut and residents struggle to meet daily needs with limited to no livelihood opportunities in parallel to rising food prices. Little information is available on villages still under AG control, primarily West of Mosul, however it can be expected that the situation is similar to, if not worse, than those reported in West Mosul.