Mosul: More than 150 000 new IDPs over the last month
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. Handicap International’s teams provide their assistance to the population, in camps and hospitals.
People displaced in Kazher camp | © E. Fourt / Handicap International
« As the fighting rages in Mosul, we face an unprecented number of newly displaced people » comments Fanny Mraz, Handicap International’s Head of mission in Iraq. « Only over the past ten days, close to 10 000 new IDPs were registered daily. We expect the displacement rate to increase even more in the weeks to come… ». A number of camps already reached full capacity.
Amongst the newly displaced population, humanitarians meet high numbers of civilian casualties from west Mosul, injured by heavy shelling in the area. « 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. « Hospitals and other health facilities are simply unable to cope with the numbers of trauma victims coming in from Mosul by ambulance. »
Handicap International’s teams work in two hospitals to assist the injured as soon as they arrive there. “We intervene in Hamdanyiah and Qayyarah hospitals, where a lot of casualties are being treated” indicates Fanny. “We also extended our intervention in camps. We now also workd in Hamam Al Alil, where a lot of new IDPs are being accomodated. Our teams are doing their best to help the population.”
According to the United Nations, 300 000 additional people could flee the city in the upcoming weeks. And hundreds of thousands civilians are still trapped inside western Mosul, at grave risk as the fighting continues.