Humanitarian partners prepare for a surge of displaced families from West Mosul

29 May 2017
Press Release Humanitarian partners on  prepare for a surge of displaced families from West Mosul
UNFPA & UNICEF distribution kits

Baghdad, 29 May – As the fighting intensifies in west Mosul, humanitarian partners in Iraq have pre-positioned lifesaving packages of assistance containing food, water and other assistance in key areas in preparation for a surge in the number of people fleeing the violence.

The Iraqi government late last week called on civilians to leave the old city neighbourhoods of west Mosul. It is estimated that 180,000 people—almost half of them children— remain in the old city without access to food and humanitarian assistance.

“Displaced children and their families are expected to flee and reach safer areas without any belongings, most likely in a state of physical and mental shock. UNICEF and its partners are ready to provide them with lifesaving assistance at the earliest possible points,” said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF’s Representative in Iraq.

Through a Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM), the World Food Programme (WFP), UNICEF and UNFPA have pre-positioned emergency packages assistance along the various displacement routes to reach as many families as possible as they flee to reach safety.

“WFP is working closely with our UN and NGO partners to ensure food and humanitarian assistance is available to families coming out of western Mosul,” said Sally Haydock, WFP’s Representative in Iraq.

“Our thoughts are with those who are trapped inside the Old City, most of whom will not have had access to nutritious food for several months,” she added.

“Women and girls escaping the fighting in Mosul are particularly vulnerable to the risk of gender-based violence and are emerging from long periods of oppression and trauma under ISIL. Under these circumstances, the dignity kits of UNFPA meet their fundamental need of self-respect” said Ramanathan Balakrishnan, UNFPA Representative in Iraq.

Humanitarian actors are ready to scale up the emergency response to support all displaced families with food, health, water and sanitation services. In recent weeks, approximately 10,000 – 15,000 newly displaced people have arrived in the camps every day.

The UNICEF-WFP-UNFPA led Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) enables an agile response to immediately provide lifesaving assistance to displaced families on the move.

Each kit contains food rations, a hygiene kit to last a family a week, 12 litres of bottled drinking water and a water container.

Since the start of the Mosul operation in October last year, over 1 million people have received RRM packages.  

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For more information please contact:
Sharon Behn Nogueira: snogueira@unicef.org, +964 (0) 782 782 0238
Abeer Etefa, abeer.etefa@wfp.org, +201066634352
Dina El-Kassaby, dina.elkassaby@wfp.org, +201015218882
Sahand Mohammed, samohammed@unfpa.org  +964 7501640020