Mosul: Low-level displacement in northern Iraq and Syria, UNHCR focus on continued preparations
This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at today's press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
In Iraq, and with the military offensive on Mosul still unfolding, UNHCR is so far seeing modest levels of displacement. Our focus remains on the intensive and continuing push for more protection and shelter support.
The numbers of recorded displaced remain modest, with UN data showing that 3,900 people (650 families) were displaced from Mosul and Al Hamdaniya districts. These people have been transported to a nearby reception centre in the village of Al-Hood where they are being helped. In addition, 240 people (40 families) were displaced from Makhmur district, east of Mosul, were transferred to a reception centre (Debaga) yesterday.
UNHCR has in recent weeks established five camps, and is also ready to work in three emergency sites established by other agencies, to provide shelter to 60,000 people. Altogether, 11 camps are planned, including the five already set up, with capacity for 120,000 people. With full funding and readiness, UNHCR would be able to provide shelter support inside and outside camps for 600,000 people and we are appealing to donors for this additional help. We are in the process now of organizing airlifts for next week for 7,000 family tents to Iraq from warehouses in Dubai and Amman
In Syria, UNHCR and its partners are also finalizing preparations to be able to provide emergency assistance for families fleeing Mosul. Reception capacity is being reinforced at the Al Hol camp to the east of Al Hasakeh. Arrangements are being made for 15,000 individuals. Eventually we hope to have 50,000 places available.
Currently at Al Hol, UNHCR is providing support to 5,512 Iraqis (4,600 of whom have arrived since April) and 912 who are newly arrived in recent days. We are ensuring that when peoples reach Al Hol we are able to accommodate them and provide them with needed shelter and life-saving assistance. Further north at Qamishly, we have sufficient food and supplies in place for 50,000 people.
Work is being done with UN and NGO partners to ensure that all services are running and that sufficient water, sanitation, health and protection services will be available at Al Hol. UNHCR is also reinforcing its presence in Al Hassakeh governorate with a new field office in Hassakeh City to ensure an effective response.
So far, 48 per cent, of UNHCR’s Mosul budget requirement of US$196.2 million has been provided, but there remains urgent need for further funding to prepare for possible larger-scale displacement. Beyond shelter, UNHCR plans to meet the core relief needs – blankets mattresses, plastic sheeting, kitchen sets, hygiene sets and jerrycans – of the most vulnerable, as well as the winter needs of the vulnerable.
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