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Overwhelmed KRG warns of ‘humanitarian catastrophe’ as forces gear up for W.Mosul

By Rudaw 30/1/2017
Mosul IDPs at a displacement camp in the Kurdistan Region. Photo: Rudaw
Mosul IDPs at a displacement camp in the Kurdistan Region. Photo: Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is reaching the limits of its ability to provide for the needs of tens of thousands of displaced Iraqis and Syrian refugees and they have issued a plea for help from the international community amid growing anticipation of military operations in western Mosul. 

“The purpose of this message is to alert the international community of an impending humanitarian catastrophe and to request additional resources to be provided immediately to deal with the increased burden,” said the KRG’s Minister of the Interior Karim Sinjari in a statement published Sunday, detailing his government’s efforts to care for 1,816,677 internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees, including more than 96,000 who have fled Mosul and its surrounding areas since the start of the military offensive launched October 17.

The ministry’s Joint Crisis Coordination Centre (JCC) has also delivered aid to civilians who stayed in their homes, bringing food and non-food items to over 150,000 people living in liberated areas in the Nineveh Plains and inside Mosul, the JCC detailed in a report published Sunday.

Without “immediate assistance” the financially-strained KRG will not be able to receive any more IDPs and will not be able to continue providing basic services to the populations it is already hosting, the report warned. 

The plea for assistance comes during a pause in the military operation as Iraqi security forces clear eastern Mosul after Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced its liberation on January 24 following a three-month long offensive.

The KRG’s health and security services are particularly strained, Sinjari’s statement detailed. 

Hospitals in the Kurdistan Region have received over 10,340 injured civilians since the start of the Mosul offensive and a “huge number” of wounded Iraqi and Peshmerga forces, he stated. 

There are not enough beds to accommodate this influx. “Without immediate international assistance to build the capacity of Kurdistan's medical care, we could be heading towards a catastrophe,” Sinjari warned. 

The KRG’s security services are worried that they will be overwhelmed if the number of IDPs increases as each person “must be properly screened before they are permitted to enter displacement camps in Kurdistan. This task is complex and time-consuming.”

The close security checks are coupled with fears of revenge attacks between populations in Mosul as trust between groups has been “shattered” after ISIS. 

“Urgent financial support is critical for KRG institutions to respond effectively and efficiently to the massive humanitarian emergency that continues to unfold,” Sinjari stated. 

According to the United Nations, an estimated 450,000 civilians are living in east Mosul, now under control of the Iraqi forces, and another 750,000 are still trapped under ISIS rule in west Mosul. As of January 30, 162,600 civilians have been displaced in the Mosul offensive, according to figures from the International Organization for Migration (IOM). 

Of those remaining in west Mosul, 350,000 are estimated to be children, the charity Save the Children reported on Monday. 


Brzoo  from Sulimani  Alan
Brzoo from Sulimani Alan | 31/1/2017
the problem of refugee has always been there ,unless we will change radically , the way Europe did in fifteen century , we will always have that problem , so we have to get rid of all that is unproductive Such as , Allah and Mohammad , and Arabic culture , these smelly rubbish around us make us sick and unfit for change....we must walk with time , otherwise we will always stay behind.
Muraz Adzhoev | 31/1/2017
Until Kurdistan regional president-commader and government are not considered and recognized by the UN officials and by the leading member-states of the UN SC so as sovereign authorities of de-facto already reintegrated and independent Southern Kurdistan, Baghdad led by Iran will do its "best" to prevent overwhelming aid and support of the international community to help Southern Kurdistan overcome huge financial crisis and catastrophic humanitarian disaster. There is only one single way left to make the UN SC, the UN GA and the UN Secretary General admit the crucial situation, urgently approve appropriate and adequate measures in favor of the people of Southern Kurdistan, refugees and IDP's in Southern Kurdistan - declaration of sovereign independence of Southern Kurdistan from deadly failed and fully collapsed Iraq. The declaration of independence certainly will only increase military efficiency and capability of the Peshmerga army forces to fully defeat ISIS in partnership cooperation with the US-led anti-terrorism coalition in (Souther-Western) Kurdistan and in Iraq, and also in Syria in coordination with the US-Rusiia military and political coalition.

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