The global organization Mercy Corps has begun providing civilians in the eastern half of Mosul with cash assistance, the first international aid organization to do so. The government of Iraq estimates that military operations in Mosul have led more than 362,000 people to flee their homes.
“As we’ve entered previously inaccessible areas in the city, we’re learning more about the very difficult circumstances under which families are living,” says Su’ad Jarbawi, Iraq Country Director for Mercy Corps.
“Adults are telling us they try to eat less and skip meals so that their children can eat. Most families we’ve spoken to so far say they can’t afford the basics, even food and medical care.”
Mercy Corps surveyed 712 families in east Mosul in March and April, revealing a concerning level of humanitarian need:
- 89 percent of those surveyed said they weren’t able to meet their most basic needs, namely food, medical care and shelter;
- 68 percent of adults reported eating less, skipping meals or otherwise restricting consumption due to lack of resources;
- 64 percent reported that no family members were currently employed;
- 93 percent reported going into debt to purchase food and other essentials.
Mercy Corps is delivering cash distributions of $400.00 to families in need, and currently expects to reach nearly 4,000 families – approximately 20,000 people – impacted by the crisis in Mosul.
“Cash is the quickest and most efficient way to help people because they can buy what they and their families need most,” Jarbawi says. “And an important side benefit to cash is that by spending money, people are supporting the local economy.”
Mercy Corps has operated continuously in Iraq since 2003, providing assistance to 5 million Iraqis affected by war, violence and displacement in all 18 governorates. Currently the organization is addressing the needs of people affected by conflict, including refugees from Syria, displaced Iraqi civilians and Iraqi host communities.
(Source: Mercy Corps)