Iraqi women, who fled the fighting between government forces and ISIS extremists in the Old City of western Mosul, arrive in the industrial district to be relocated on July 8. Photo: Fadel Senna | AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The United Nations is requesting emergency funding to address the humanitarian crisis as nearly 1 million Iraqis have been displaced and the damage to their homes remains a barrier to return.
“Many of the people who have fled have lost everything. They need shelter, food, health care, water, sanitation and emergency kits. The levels of trauma we are seeing are some of the highest anywhere. What people have experienced is nearly unimaginable,” said the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, Lise Grande.
Of 54 total residential neighborhoods in west Mosul, 15 are heavily damaged and at least 23 are moderately damaged.
“It's a relief to know that the military campaign in Mosul is ending. The fighting may be over, but the humanitarian crisis is not,” Grande stated in UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs report.
Additionally, there are still civilians trapped in areas such as Tal Afar, Hawija and western Anbar, who are at extreme risk as fighting, is likely to occur in these areas.
“There’s a lot of work to do in the weeks and months ahead,” Grande stated.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi visited western and eastern Mosul on Sunday.
“The Prime Minister Dr. Haider al-Abadi arrives in the liberated Mosul, and congratulates the heroic fighters and the Iraqi people for achieving the great victory," his media office said in a short statement.
Abadi in a statement after meeting with military officials "issued directives on the continuation of victories and the elimination of Daesh remnants calling for the necessity of establishing security and stability in the liberated city and clearing it of mines and explosives [which] the enemy lift behind ensuring the protection of civilians and IDPs."
Abadi stated in a tweet later that he was glad to see the return of normal life for citizens. This is the result of the sacrifices of fighters, whose courage lightened the world.
The UN reported that only 43 percent of $985 million needed for Iraq’s Humanitarian Response Plan has been received. UN partners are in urgent need of at least $562 million more to meet the needs of millions of Iraqis affected by the three-year control of the militant group.
Some 920,000 civilians have fled their homes since the campaign to retake Mosul began on October 17, 2017, according to the UN. Nearly 700,000 remain displaced and are living among 19 emergency camps for Iraq’s displaced.