Displaced Iraqi children, who fled the ongoing Mosul offesnive, pose for the camera at the Hasan Sham camp , 30 kilometres east of the city. Photo: AFP/Ahmad Gharabli
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — At least 76,000 displaced people have returned to Mosul since October 17, 2016, according to the latest statistics released by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
“A total of 350,000 have been displaced," IOM spokesperson Sandra Black told Rudaw English on Sunday night. "More than 76,000 have chosen to return home.
“But we have more than 273,000 currently displaced, and we are doing our best in cooperation with the government of Iraq, and humanitarian partners to provide the humanitarian assistance for these people who are in desperate need.”
In the past month, western Mosul has seen fierce fighting between Iraqi forces, backed by the US-led international coalition, and ISIS fighters, since an offensive to retake the right bank of Iraq’s second-largest commenced on February 17.
Over the past month, Black said, 149,000 individuals from western Mosul have been displaced.
"We provide the figures on displacement so we can collectively plan our humanitarian response for the current displacement and those expected [to displace],” Black said.
Iraq’s ministry of migration said Saturday that at least 201,000 people had left western Mosul over the past month, bringing the total number of refugees fleeing from the city to over 433,000 people.
“IOM works across Iraq including in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq,” Black said. “We have more than 1,000 staff across the country who are working very rapidly to provide the emergency assistance, the livelihood assistance that Iraqis need.”
The most recent data from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) showed more than 138,000 individuals from Mosul having been sheltered in Kurdistan since October 2016.
ISIS has been cleared of 62 percent of the territory it once controlled in Iraq, according to the US State Department.
Since 2014, the IOM has reported more than 3 million internally displaced persons across Iraq with more than 1.6 million returnees.