Why this Iraqi City is Starving

She explained, “There are critical medical conditions for which treatment is unavailable. There are children and elderly people who are sick and do not have access to medication and food. … Unfortunately, the Iraqi government has cut off the income of its employees in Mosul.” She described the government’s policy as “inappropriate behavior,” saying, “Citizens need money, and their presence under IS control does not mean that they agree on it. They are helpless civilian residents.”

The Iraqi government decided in July 2015 not to pay its workers and retirees in IS-controlled provinces, including the city of Mosul, as IS is using the money to purchase arms and carry out operations against security forces and cities under the Iraqi government’s control.

Al-Monitor tried to obtain information on the food and medication needs in IS-controlled cities, but the Iraqi lawmakers and residents fleeing the cities could offer little data. Media reports, however, agree that what residents need most is milk for children, medication for chronic diseases and basic food such as flour and vegetables.

Iraqi parliamentarians told Al-Monitor that the residents in IS-controlled areas are most in need of money, as many of the people in those cities are government employees and retirees.

So far, Iraqi security forces have not set a real timetable to liberate these cities from IS. The longer these operations are delayed, the worse the humanitarian crisis grows.

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