Nearly 10,000 children displaced by Mosul operation: UNICEF

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Iraqi women and children displaced from the Mosul corridor line up to receive food in Debaga Displacement Camp in Erbil Governorate. Photo: UNICEF/Anmar (file photo)

More than 20,000 people, nearly half of them children, have been displaced in Iraq since the start of an operation to retake the northern city of Mosul from the terrorist group ISIL.

That's according to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) which has been reaching out to families to check on the condition of their children and to see if any of them are missing.

Dianne Penn has the story.

The Mosul offensive began nearly three weeks ago and UNICEF estimates that some 9,700 displaced children are in urgent need of assistance.

The agency's Chief of Field Operations in Iraq, Pernille Ironside, recently travelled to a screening site where she met mothers and children who reported that they were so relieved to have come out alive.

At the screening site, families are given clean drinking water and snacks, and children also receive a nutritional supplement.

Those aged 6 months to15 years are immediately immunized against polio and measles.

UNICEF said families are later transferred to an emergency camp where they are assigned shelter.

There, children are also screened for malnutrition and treated, where necessary. They can also receive psychological care.

While many people who have fled are staying in camps, UNICEF said others have chosen to remain in their newly retaken villages.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1'39"

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