700 families in West Mosul receive housing units from UNHCR with funds from the people of Japan
Some 700 families in Mosul whose homes were destroyed in the recent conflict now have a new place to live. Temporary housing units were set up in 26 neighbourhoods in the west of the city, which saw extensive destruction in the battle to retake the city from extremist control.
During the battle for Mosul, almost 1 million Iraqis fled the fighting, seeking safety in nearby camps and host communities. After the fighting ended people began to return to the city, but for many citizens of Mosul, their homes were too badly damaged for them to return.
“So many displaced Iraqis want to go home and restart their lives,” said Bruno Geddo, UNHCR Representative in Iraq. “Rebuilding Mosul is an immense task that will take years. The housing units will provide shelter for up to three years to Iraqis returning to their communities. This will give them breathing space to make longer term plans.”
The people of Japan generously donated US$ 4.5 million to camp management services, cash assistance and temporary housing programmes to support displaced people and returnees in Mosul cope with the harsh winter conditions. Approximately 18,000 people benefited from the cash assistance, while 4,200 people are housed in the new housing units. The units were formally handed over to their new occupants by Mr Geddo at a ceremony in Mosul on 21 February.
H.E. Mr. Fumio Iwai, Ambassador of Japan to Iraq said, “We remain concerned about the unstable humanitarian situation in West Mosul even after its liberation from the battle, where many of the houses were completely destroyed or heavily damaged.” He added, “Japan strongly hopes the provision of housing units and cash assistance through this emergency grant assistance help the displaced and returnees secure their shelters and the basic needs as a response to the transitional phase for further stabilization and reconstruction of the city.”
“Thanks to the generosity of the Japanese people, 700 families now have a housing solution that keeps out the winter cold,” said Mr Geddo. “Although the emergency is now over, we have a responsibility to continue to support the people of Iraq. Sustainable return is a cornerstone of the transition towards a better future. We must not let them down at this critical juncture.”