Some 700,000 civilians displaced from western Mosul: UN

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Market porter Mushaifa from the Iraqi city of Mosul with his family at UNHCR’s new Hasansham U2 displacement camp. Photo: UNHCR/Caroline Gluck

Some 700,000 civilians have been displaced from western Mosul, the UN Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq said on Monday.

Lise Grande, who is also the Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator of the UN Mission in the country, UNAMI, was speaking via video link from Baghdad.

She told journalists in New York that the top priority now is to reach civilians who might still be in Mosul's old city.

Jocelyne Sambira reports.

UN Deputy Special Representative Lise Grande said that she believed "hundreds of people" are still in Mosul's so-called "Old City".

She noted that in the last week of fighting, some 12,000 people were evacuated.

The military offensive to retake Mosul from the extremists began in October last year and Iraqi troops are advancing on the remaining areas of western Mosul held by ISIL.

Here's Ms Grande.

"There are 700,000 civilians who are outside of their homes in Mosul. As we look ahead, in the next coming months, we expect that there will be intense fighting in three areas of Iraq where ISIL is still relatively strong. That includes Telfar, the community of Hawija and areas around the Euphrates Valley in western Anbar. Our expectation is that civilians who are in those areas will be at extreme risk. Possibly by the end of the year, depending upon on how intense the fighting is, an additional 100,000 civilians may be forced from their homes."

Of the 54 residential districts in western Mosul, Ms Grande said 15 are heavily damaged and "basically flattened."

The cost to stabilize these areas and make them liveable is estimated at more than US$700 million, she noted.

The UN has requested nearly US$1 billion in assistance for western Mosul, with a focus on re-establishing crucial services so that people can safely return home.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’37”

 

 

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