The wet spring and fierece fighting has driven many Iraqis from embattled western Mosul. Photo: AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — To fulfill the basic but most priority needs to shelter more than 1.8 million internally displaced people (IDPs) and refugees for 2017, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) stated it needs more than $830 million to support its humanitarian efforts in 2017.
“Since the  crisis, over 1.8 million displaced people arrived in KRI and majority live with the host communities,” the KRG’s Joint Crisis Coordination Centre (JCC) has announced.
More than 1.5 million IDPs and refugees have registered, according to the JCC, with 82 percent of IDPs living with host communities and the other 18 percent being spread across 38 camps in the Erbil, Duhok, and Sulaimani governorates.
According to JCC statistics, 97 percent of all Syrian refugees in Iraq are in the Kurdistan Region — 40 percent of them are living in nine camps, while 60 percent reside in the host communities.
Of the half a million people displaced from Mosul since the offensive to retake the city from ISIS began six months ago on October 17, 2016, 167,000 are being sheltered in the Kurdistan Region.
The $830,827,345 needed by the JCC would support construction of camps, management of camps, logistical needs of camps, schools, social services, disease prevention, medical facilities and care, among many other services and infrastructure.
“The sectors and priority projects have been identified and selected by the provincial administrations, in the governorates of Erbil, Slemani and Duhok with the technical support provided by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Iraq,” according to the JCC. “These projects are the most needed ones to be supported across each governorate.”
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) estimates that around 300,000 are living in the dense Old City of western Mosul, which has seen some of the heaviest fighting between Iraqi forces supported by the US-led international coalition and ISIS militants. Iraqi and Kurdish government officials have put the number closer to 400,000.
“Iraqi forces are reportedly planning a slow and careful advance in order to avoid destruction in this densely populated part of the city, characterized by a warren of narrow alleyways and ancient houses which pose considerable challenges for military operations,” UNHCR wrote in an April update.
Recent rains have complicated the situation in Mosul, as floods have made it more difficult for supplies to enter from the liberated eastern half, across the Tigris, and into the embattled right bank.
“The flooding has had a big impact. All road traffic has stopped,” Reuters reported on Sunday an official at Hammam al-Alil camp as saying.