UN: 700,000 Civilians to Need Assistance after Start of Operation to Liberate Mosul

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According to the UN representative, up to a million people would be displaced from Mosul after the start the military operation there. All of them would need assistance.

UN: 700,000 Civilians to Need Assistance after Start of Operation to Liberate Mosul

UNHCR representative Bruno Geddo (Photo: AP)

According to UN estimates, about 700,000 people will need assistance after the start of the military operation, aimed on liberation of the city of Mosul, the Iraqi capital of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group.

On Thursday, representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Iraq, Bruno Geddo, said that the expected offensive on Mosul “has the potential” to displace over a million people.

“We are planning for at least 700,000 who will be in need of assistance, shelter food, [and] water, following the operation,” Geddo noted.

He also pointed out that camps have already been started to be built by the UN refugee agency in preparation for a mass exodus from Mosul. However, the agency encountered some difficulties in financing and the time, required for building.

Geddo explained that the UN agency hopes to have 11 camps, built before the end of the year and capable to house up to 120,000 people, while the Iraqi government plans to give houseroom to 150,000 others.

According to the UN representative, the IS uses civilians as human shields. He called for an international support in order to help the country’s government to gain the upper hand over the terrorist group, as well as to stabilize the situation in Iraq.

“This war now, 2016-2017, might with luck mark a turning point for the country,” he said. “The international community should not succumb to fatigue, should stay the course, and should continue to support Iraq as much as we can, so that Iraq can mark the turning point.”

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