There is a silent victim caught in the operation to rid Daesh from Iraq's second largest city – the displaced population. United Nations highlights the urgent need for more funds, shelter, food and medical help as winter approaches.
The humanitarian response for Iraq remains "seriously unfunded," the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Iraq stated on Twitter early Wednesday. It predicts the siege of Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, can result in the displacement of a million people.
A day after the operation was launched to rid Mosul from Daesh, a designated terror group, UN organs braced themselves for the "largest man-made displacement crises in recent years." Since 2014, 3.3 million Iraqis have been displaced from their homes as a result of Daesh taking over parts of Iraq.
There are real fears the offensive to retake Mosul could produce a humanitarian catastrophe," William Spindler, the spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said. He cited concerns about the approaching winter and the requisite shelter kits needed.
According to the OCHA Iraq October 29 to 31 situation report, the unmet monetary need stands at $461 million for Iraq and $128.3 million for Mosul in specific. This means 45% of the $284 million Mosul Flash Appeal made by the UN in mid-October has not been met. And now OCHA Iraq predicts "funding requirements are expected to increase and winterization will be a priority as temperatures drop over the coming weeks.
As of November 1, almost 18,000 people have been displaced by military operations that began on October 17 to retake Mosul, according to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Displacement Tracking Matrix system. OCHA Iraq says most of the displaced are moving in a southwards direction towards Al Qayyarah and Fallujah.
Camps such as Jad'ah in Al Qayyarah, are filling quickly. While space is available for 55,000 people at seven camps, the OCHA report says security and mine clearance remains an issue as does permission for using land for shelters.
After the need for shelter, OCHA's situation report reveals food and medicines are "priority" needs. Oil fires and explosions have resulted in deaths and injuries, including respiratory disorders. The humanitarian agency points out families close to the front lines remain inaccessible.
OCHA Iraq states the data from this report might change because of the dynamic situation on ground in Mosul.