14/12/16: Iraq – The Humanitarian Situation in Mosul and the Work of the UN World Food Programme

The All-Party Parliamentary Human Rights Group met with Alex Murdoch on 14 December from the UN World Food Programme (UN WFP) to discuss the current humanitarian situation in Mosul.

The main points raised at this meeting were as follows:

  • Mosul is a very densely packed city; the Iraqi army has been able to re-capture the outskirts but many people remain within the Daesh-controlled inner parts of the city. Daesh has cut off water and power here, and the fight to re-capture Mosul from them is likely to become protracted. The Iraqi army have been fighting to recapture other cities and towns, and are now getting tired.
  • The UN WFP has a strategy for reaching those fleeing Daesh and the conflict. In the first instance, rapid-response food packages are given, then a food assessment is carried out, followed by the provision of a months’ worth of food supply to families who continue to be deemed vulnerable.
  • The UN WFP is working closely with the Iraqi army and Government to ensure that civilians are given food, but they are unable to reach Daesh-controlled areas. Though it remains unclear, there could be up to 1.5 million people still trapped in Mosul.
  • Some families have been separated for over two years, after Daesh took control of the city.
  • Screening centres in newly recaptured areas are managed by the Iraqi Government. Men and women are separated and it can take a while to be reunited again.

The PHRG will continue to review civilian protection needs in Mosul, as well as in other areas in the Middle East where there is on-going conflict, with a view to getting relevant agencies and Governments to respond to civilians in immediate need of humanitarian assistance.