More aid needed for Mosul as 200,000 residents may flee Iraqi city
Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) media coordinator Becky Bakr Abdulla, currently working in Iraq, said that the humanitarian community on the ground, including the NRC, is ready to receive 60,000 people from Mosul.
There is a desperate need to provide Mosul with more assistance as about 200,000 residents of the Iraqi city may become internally displaced persons (IDPs) amid the start of the military operation to retake Mosul from ISIL militants, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) media coordinator in Iraq told on Monday.
“If civilians manage to escape the fighting in Mosul city, we are expecting that the numbers of displaced will reach 200,000 within days. We need both more funding, and we need all parties to the conflict to identify and guarantee safe routes out of the city,” Becky Bakr Abdulla, currently working in Iraq, said.
The humanitarian community on the ground, including the NRC, is ready to receive 60,000 people from Mosul, Abdulla added.
“We are working along with all humanitarian organizations present around Mosul, and the needs are immense and growing. From parties involved in the conflict we are asking for protection of civilians, a message that we hope will be conveyed by actors with influence,” the media coordinator stressed.
Earlier on Monday, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien said the operation on liberation of Mosul posed a threat to up to 1.5 million local residents and that the construction of new sites to shelter Mosul civilians with a 250,000 capacity was underway.
Mosul, as well as a number of other northern and western Iraqi cities and towns, was seized in 2014 during an offensive of the ISIL extremists, outlawed in Russia, the United States, and other countries. According to local media, about 30,000 Iraqi soldiers and 4,000 Kurdish Peshmerga fighters are taking part in the operation, backed by airstrikes carried out by the US-led international coalition. NRC, present in Iraq since 2010, has provided assistance to 200,000 IDPs and has offices in Baghdad, Erbil, Donuk and Kirkuk, according to the organization’s website.