VAM Flash Update – January 2017: Iraq - Mosul City


Liberated areas of Mosul City (Eastern)

  • Based on food prices collected in January across eastern Mosul city, on average, the cost of food is lower than what Erbil city market prices reported in December (see Figure 1).

  • The total cost of standard food basket that provides 2100 KCLs is lower in eastern Mosul than Erbil, 804 and 807 IQD respectively (see Figure 2).

  • However, the purchasing power, determined by calculating the Terms of Trade (ToT), is 40 percent less in eastern Mosul than Erbil. In Erbil an unskilled labourer could purchase 18 Standard Food Baskets whereas in eastern Mosul he could only purchase 11 Standard Food Baskets (Figure 3). The average daily wage in eastern Mosul being 9000 IQD while in Erbil it is 15000 IQD.

Shortages in Food, Non-food and Services

  • Interviewees from eastern Mosul reported shortage of drinking water as the main issue. To cope with the situation, people reported using water from wells in mosques and public areas. Infant milk and formula were the other main items in short supply in markets.

  • Interviewees reported that even though municipalities and humanitarians have started to clean up the streets and provide parcels, cooking and heating was affected due to power cuts (electricity) leaving those who could afford fuel to rely heavily on generators. Fuel, kerosene and gas are commodities people are asking for most.

Unliberated areas of Mosul City (Western)

  • Lack of income opportunities is reported to be the main issue in meeting food needs. People are adopting negative coping strategies such as consuming smaller portions, spending savings and receiving food from family and friends with stocked foods.

  • Basic staples such as wheat and rice are available though at high prices.

  • In unliberated areas the cost of food is almost double than in eastern Mosul (see Figure 4).

  • Onion and sugar prices are respectively eight and five times higher than prices in eastern Mosul (See Figure 4).

Shortage in incomes and services

  • Overwhelmingly the respondents complain of lack of income opportunities.

  • There are reports of negative coping strategy of begging to meet needs of their children. These are urbanites begging for food from neighbors owning farms on the outskirts of Mosul.

  • “Eating whatever is available” is the most repeated message from the interviewees. Since markets are almost closed or limited in food commodities, people are relying on their neighbors.

  • Lack of drinking water is another main issue that people regularly face. Almost all interviewees reported using external wells for drinking water.

  • Lack of fuel is most acute in western Mosul exacerbating cooking and heating capacity. Prices of fuel, kerosene and gas have reached astronomical values. A barrel (200 Litres) of kerosene costs 1,000,000 IQDs(compared to 120,000 pre-crisis). A cylinder of gas is sold at 70,000 IQDs (compared to 5,000 IQDs pre-crisis).

  • Virtually all services are unavailable in this side of the city causing increased anxiety among the population.