First Published: 2017-05-18

UN says Mosul exodus has reached unprecedented level
UN humanitarian coordinator in Iraq says aid community is struggling to cope with latest exodus of civilians from Mosul.
Middle East Online

'The numbers of people fleeing their homes in western Mosul are overwhelming'

MOSUL - The exodus of civilians from the battleground city of Mosul has reached an unprecedented level, leaving aid agencies struggling to cope, the UN humanitarian coordinator in Iraq said on Thursday.

"The numbers of people fleeing their homes in western Mosul are overwhelming," Lise Grande said in a statement.

"We are talking about very large numbers of families who are leaving everything behind. They are fleeing under very difficult circumstances. Many are food insecure and haven't had access to safe drinking water and medicines for weeks or months," she said.

Iraqi forces launched a massive offensive seven months ago to retake the country's second city from the Islamic State group, which seized it in June 2014.

More than 700,000 people have since been displaced, half a million of them since mid-February when Iraqi forces moved on the more densely populated west side of the city.

The government, the UN and its partners have been setting up camps around Mosul to assist increasingly desperate civilians, including some who faced starvation and were used as human shields by jihadists.

But Grande said the aid community was struggling to cope with the latest influx.

"The numbers of people who are moving are now so large, it's becoming more and more difficult to ensure civilians receive the assistance and protection they need," she said.

She warned that another 200,000 civilians who are still trapped in the Old City of Mosul, where holdout jihadists have focused most of their resources ahead of a bloody last stand, could flee in the coming weeks.

Grande urged donors to ramp up support for the Mosul aid effort, which has been massively underfunded so far.

"Hundreds of thousands of lives are at stake," she said.

 

Britain probes jihadist network amid row with US intelligence

Trump gets rough ride in EU, NATO meeting

Qatari FM says country victim of smear campaign, particularly in US

Probe finds over 100 Mosul civilians killed in US air strike

Faz3a, a local NGO mobilising young people to help Mosul refugees

Turkey identifies 'intelligence weaknesses' before coup attempt

26 killed in attack on Egypt Christians

Tunisia opens trial over 2015 beach massacre

Syria army takes control of key road

UN says nations bombing IS must protect civilians

US-led strikes kill 35 civilians in east Syria

Palestinian president says US should mediate hunger strike

Libya says working closely with Britain over concert attack

EU leaders, Erdogan meet in bid to ease tensions

Myanmar to deport Turkish family wanted for alleged coup links

Iran says it has built third underground missile factory

Saudi minister confident on oil output deal

Egyptians brace for austere Ramadan

Egypt blocks several media websites including Jazeera

IS suicide bomber kills five in Somalia

Israel uneasy over 'crazy' regional arms race

Algeria president replaces Prime Minister

16 civilians dead in coalition strikes near Raqa

4 arrested in Tunisia anti-corruption drive

German MPs call off Turkey visit as tensions fester

Palestinian hunger strike row draws solidarity, controversy

Britain raises terror alert, deploys troops after concert massacre

Qatar probes state news agency hack

At least 20 migrants killed in Mediterranean

Israeli joy at Trump visit lacks substance

Oman evacuates Australian man from Yemen

Bahrain police open fire on Shiite protest, kill five

Turkey arrests hunger strikers on terror charges

Jewish extremists ejected from Aqsa mosque compound

Prominent Egypt rights lawyer detained

Oil producers to extend output curbs at OPEC meeting

NATO aims to break Turkey-Austria partnership deadlock

Tunisia tensions simmer after protester's death

Terrorist bomb attack kills 22 at UK pop concert

Bahrain police raid Shiite sit-in killing one protester

Trump says Israelis, Palestinians ‘can make a deal’

Five dead in Syria car bomb attacks

Syria civilians suffer deadliest month of US-led strikes

US forces raid Al-Qaeda in Yemen, kill seven jihadists

Islamists to join Algeria cabinet despite poor results