Statement by the Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq Ms. Marta Ruedas on the one-year anniversary of the liberation of Mosul city [EN/AR/KU]
(Baghdad, 21 July 2018): Today marks the one-year anniversary of the end of military operations by Iraqi security forces to retake Mosul city in Ninewa governorate from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Mosul’s occupation by ISIL from June 2014 to July 2017 caused a humanitarian catastrophe with immense human suffering and enormous physical destruction. Close to one million people were forced to flee the conflict in Mosul. Assessments conducted by the UN and its humanitarian partners found that hospitals, bridges, schools, water treatment and power plants were contaminated with unprecedented quantities of explosive hazards and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that were left by ISIL.
“One year later, many humanitarian achievements can be observed,” said Ms. Marta Ruedas, Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq. “Almost 870,000 people have now returned to Mosul. The Government of Iraq, the United Nations and its national and international NGO partners are working together to ensure the safe, voluntary and dignified return of displaced Mosul residents, rehabilitation of damaged infrastructures, and restoration of livelihoods.”
UNHCR established six camps for displaced Mosul residents in Ninewa governorate and in the Kurdistan Region and provided protection and essential assistance services to displaced people in camps and in informal settlements. IOM, in addition to supporting the displaced people who are unable to return, has also partnered with the Government’s Joint Coordination and Monitoring Center to establish two Community Resource Centres in Mosul to facilitate the reintegration of returnees.
UNICEF has helped the basic rehabilitation of one-third of the 638 schools that have re-opened and enabled more than half a million girls and boys to return to local schools. WFP and the government provided emergency school meals to 87,000 primary school children in 145 primary schools and four kindergartens in West Mosul from March to May.
UNICEF has also supported local authorities with the repair of water networks and more than 800,000 people benefited from the delivery of safe drinking water. In the past year, WHO has placed 53 ambulances in this governorate to ensure that patients with serious conditions can receive secondary care. In West Mosul, where six major hospitals were damaged, WHO has relocated two field hospitals to deliver emergency healthcare services to returnees and is supporting six primary health care centres that will benefit approximately 150,000 displaced persons. As ISIL had closed most maternity wards and hospitals in Mosul, UNFPA responded to the staggering reproductive health and protection needs and was already supporting a delivery room in East Mosul in December 2016. In 2017, it supported 16 primary health care clinics with the provision of almost 800,000 reproductive health consultations to women and girls and deployed six mobile reproductive health clinics and teams in the city. UNDP’s stabilisation programme has rebuilt infrastructure in these sectors as well, and is working to rebuild the electric grid that will keep the health, education and water supply running in Mosul.
Since the liberation of Mosul, UNMAS clearance teams have removed more than 43,700 explosive hazards, including 1,000 IEDs, from roads, bridges, schools, universities, hospitals, clinics, water treatment plants and municipal buildings in Mosul city. In addition, UNMAS has cleared to date 550 critical infrastructure locations of explosive hazards, allowing for the resumption of basic services for Mosul residents and returnees. UN-Habitat provided legal assistance to more than 1,200 returnee households in 12 neighbourhoods in East Mosul to address their housing, land and property rights and also rehabilitated 257 conflict-damaged houses in West Mosul, allowing almost 3,000 people to return home.
Despite these achievements, extensive humanitarian needs remain in Mosul and across Iraq. The 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan, which aims to reach the most vulnerable 3.4 million people with priority life-saving and life-sustaining assistance, is only 54 per cent funded. “While it is heartening to see life returning to Mosul, close to 2 million people in Iraq remain displaced and those who have chosen to return to the city and other liberated areas face a multitude of challenges,” said Ms. Ruedas. “Partners urgently require an additional US$260.5 million to address the critical needs of Iraqis who have suffered years of conflict and displacement. They deserve peace and normalcy in their lives without further delay.”