ERBIL — The UN Refugee Agency calls for an amount of US $126 million to be provided urgently to meet the critical needs of the civilians displaced from Mosul, said the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Friday.
“The UN Refugee Agency, urgently needs US$ 126 million to meet critical needs of vulnerable children, women and men displaced from, and returning to, Mosul, until the end of the year.”
As more large waves of people are expected to be dislodged from west Mosul where the fighting is currently concentrated, “a shortage of funds threatens to undermine our humanitarian response at this critical time,” said the UNHCR.
Over 750,000 Iraqis have been forced to flee Mosul since the military operations to recapture the city began in October of the last year.
The vast majority of the internally displaced are families with children and babies who are most vulnerable and would be most affected by aid shortages, reads the statement, adding that “Nearly half of the urgently requested funds – US$ 60 million - is required to assist more than 100,000 newly displaced Iraqi families.”
Moreover, US$ 24 million is needed to assist and support Iraqi families returning to their homes while another US$ 42 million is required for on time procurement of shelter and aid materials for the coming winter.
Overall UNHCR protection and assistance programmes in Iraq amount to $578 million in 2017. These are currently 21 per cent funded which is a cause for concern halfway through the year.
Since 2014, Iraq has suffered massive internal displacement. It is estimated that up to three million Iraqis are still internally displaced and another quarter of a million live as refugees in the neighbouring countries.