As fighting continues in west Mosul, humanitarian partners continue to respond to rising displacement and provide basic assistance to families in newly accessible areas, where conditions allow.
Where access inside west Mosul city allows humanitarian partners to reach civilians, displaced families are provided with ready-to-eat food rations. Resident or returning families in the area are provided dry food rations [i.e. to cook themselves].
Almost 62,000 people in 14 west Mosul neighbourhoods have received ready-to-eat food rations to date; 64,000 people in eleven west Mosul neighbourhoods have received dry food rations.
West Mosul has been cut off from its main supply route since November 2016, and remains largely inaccessible to humanitarian actors. In western Mosul city, many neighbourhoods face chronic water shortages, with many people drinking untreated water. Humanitarians are concerned over an increased number of displaced children arriving from western Mosul with diarrhoea.
Shortages of clean drinking water have likely been exacerbated by ISIL’s recent attacks on the Badush water treatment plant, western Mosul’s largest functioning treatment plant. Ensuring water treatment and sewage treatment facilities in Mosul are operational remains a top priority for humanitarian partners.
Approximately 500,000 people live in ISIL-controlled areas of west Mosul. Iraqi authorities also estimate that some 150,000 civilians reside in 28 currently accessible neighbourhoods of western Mosul.
Since the start of military operations to retake Mosul six months ago, nearly half a million people have been displaced from their homes. “The sheer volume of civilians still fleeing Mosul city is staggering,” said Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq Lise Grande. “Our worst case scenario when the fighting started was that up to one million civilians may flee Mosul. Already, more than 493,000 people have left, leaving almost everything behind,” said Ms. Grande.
To date, emergency response packages (of ready-to-eat food, water, hygiene and dignity kits) have been distributed to cover the immediate needs of more than two million people since the fighting began in late October. Front-line organizations have been providing food, water, shelter, emergency kits, medical support and psycho-social services – to both families who have fled and families who have stayed.
Closure of the Tigris bridge
Current high water levels of the Tigris have left several bridges in the Mosul area impassable for vehicles, preventing displaced people from relocating to camps and emergency sites on the eastern bank, where the majority of space is available.
Aid distributions in some camps and emergency sites have already been affected, as suppliers are unable to reach them.
One bridge at Nimrod re-opened today for civilian traffic and use by humanitarians, however a key bridge at Qayyarah is likely to take 2-3 days to be repaired. The impact of bridge closures on distributions and camp construction work is therefore likely to continue.