Mosul: an average of 9,000 displaced each day
The exodus from Mosul is intensifying. On February 19th, the military forces launched the second phase of their offensive to retake Mosul, in Iraq. Since then, over 150 000 people have fled the fighting in the western part of the city. The flow of IDPs increases, with an average of 9 000 newly displaced people every day.
Heavy fighting in Mosul has displaced more than 430,000 civilians since October. | © E. Fourt / Handicap International
Handicap International’s teams provide their assistance to the population, in camps and hospitals, some of which are becoming saturated: "Thousands of people have been injured over the past few weeks. We meet a very high number of men, women, children injured by bullets, blasts and shells", indicates Fanny Mraz, Handicap International's Head of mission in Irak.
"Hospitals and other health facilities are simply unable to cope with the numbers of trauma victims coming in from Mosul by ambulance."
According to the United Nations, hundreds of thousand additional people could flee the city in the upcoming weeks. Those still blocked in Mosul are at great risk as long as the fighting continues.
Risk education on explosive remnants of war for returnees
Heavy fighting in Mosul has displaced more than 430,000 civilians since October. More than 90,000 of them have already returned to their towns and villages, which have been recaptured by the armed forces. Handicap International organises risk education sessions on explosive remnants of war to alert people to the risks they are now likely to face.
“Since the start of the offensive to retake the west of Mosul in February 2017, population movements have increased tremendously,” explains Maud Bellon, coordinator of the organisation’s emergency response. “Although a lot of civilians are fleeing the bombing, many of the people who left Mosul are also choosing to return. But the risks are still great. Streets and houses that are still standing are littered with explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices.”
Handicap International and the Iraqi crisis
More than 125,000 people have benefited from Handicap International’s actions since the launch of its emergency response in Iraq in 2014. The organisation’s actions are regularly reviewed to take into account a highly volatile situation across the whole of Iraq. Handicap International currently organises activities to protect people by raising awareness of the risk from mines and conventional weapons, conducts non-technical surveys and clears potentially dangerous areas, provides physical and functional rehabilitation and psychosocial support, assists health centres, organises training and advocacy and provides technical support to partners to enhance the inclusion of vulnerable people (people with disabilities, casualties, older people, and others) in their services.