Officials Estimate That Nearly 80 Percent Of Mosul’s Medical City Is Now A Burnt Shell 

With the battle for West Mosul all but over last week, evidence of a humanitarian calamity that is now just beginning to unravel paints the picture of a crisis that may go well beyond previous expectations, reports IOM Iraq’s Hala Jaber.

Crossing one of the floating bridges over the Tigris River that splits Mosul into twin eastern and western sectors, stark differences emerge quickly as changes in scenery appear unexpectedly.

In this tale of two cities, all indications show East Mosul to be recovering at a rapid pace, with much of its life returning to normal and a significant portion of services restored; West Mosul’s rise from the ashes is expected to take much longer. 

From the hustle and bustle of life in the eastern sector, a team from IOM, the UN Migration Agency, crossed the bridge into the eerie, even deadly quiet of West Mosul, in stark contrast to the atmosphere of its twin on the other side of the Tigris, where life is recovering swiftly.

Here, life appears to have stopped.

Rows of houses and neighborhoods lie in total ruins as far as the eye can see. The carcasses of cars, reduced to smithereens and still parked in front of the shells of what used to be homes, are testament to the ferocious fighting that took place in this part of the city.

Roads that once were jammed with vehicles are deserted and mostly disfigured by mammoth craters. Pavements where children used to play now lie under heaps of rubble. Even stray cats and dogs, which recently used to scurry about these streets and neighborhoods, have mostly left.

The battle to retake Mosul from ISIL came at a high cost. Entire neighborhoods of a city tracing its history back to 401 BC now lie in ruin. The Old City is almost a ghost town.

According to the UN, of the 54 residential districts in West Mosul, 15 are “flattened,” with nearly 32,000 houses destroyed in those areas. A further 23 districts are moderately damaged, with nearly half their buildings destroyed. In the 16 neighborhoods considered “lightly” damaged, there are a combined 16,000 homes destroyed.

In the Old City alone, over 5,500 buildings have been damaged, according to a satellite imagery assessment undertaken by Habitat. Some 490 homes were destroyed in the final weeks of the offensive.

All five bridges straddling the Tigris River have been mangled; many schools and utility grids are in total ruins. Roads and highways struck by heavy shelling are strewn with gigantic craters. Mosul’s airport has been wrecked, as has the city’s historic railway and at least one university.

Officials estimate that nearly 80 per cent of Mosul’s Medical City is now a burnt shell. The Medical City was the largest health facility in the Ninewa governorate, housing several hospitals, a nearby medical school, laboratories and other medical facilities. Explosive devices still litter its floors. Several cars containing undetonated bombs detected by an IOM colleague remain parked inside.

The UN Humanitarian Response Plan for Iraq, issued in February, warned: “The operation in Mosul has the potential to be the single largest humanitarian operation in the world in 2017,” and requested USD 985 million for the year, including the estimated costs of supporting civilians impacted by fighting in Mosul. 

By early July, less than half of that amount – USD 440 million – had been received.

IOM continues to provide humanitarian assistance to the tens of thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in its constructed emergency sites at Qayara Air Strip and Haji Ali, as well as to families that remain in host communities outside the camps. 

However, with only 33 per cent of IOM’s USD 28.83 million appeal for the Mosul Crisis received – and 34 per cent of USD 47.46 million 2017 appeal for other areas of Iraq – the funding gap may significantly impact future humanitarian operations.

In response to the Mosul crisis, IOM has provided 287,977 medical consultations and treatments since June 2016, and provided life-saving medical devices to health centers serving large numbers of IDPs. Mobile Medical Teams continue to deliver immediate health services in the areas of greatest need.

IOM has also provided psychological services to 49,100 people, and distributed 61,600 non-food item kits to IDPs. The Organization has distributed a further 38,400 kerosene assistance kits and 9,000 boxes of clothes during the past 13 months as well.

IOM is already contributing to the rehabilitation of infrastructure in three retaken towns affected by the Mosul crisis, including: repairs to water networks, agricultural irrigation canals, a health-care center, and electricity networks as well as school rehabilitation. It is also working to expand its work to additional retaken areas as and when the security situation allows.

To improve shelter conditions, 17,500 tents and 31 rub halls were installed by IOM and 14,415 emergency shelter kits were distributed. Shelter damage assessments have been conducted in villages south of Mosul, as far as Hamam al-Alil, and planned shelter interventions include critical shelter upgrades and rehabilitation of damaged homes.

Nonetheless, tens of thousands of families have been left without homes. Since the beginning of the Mosul operations in October 2016, the cumulative number of IDPs whose locations of displacement and/or return have been identified by IOM’s Emergency Tracking for Mosul Operations (Displacement Tracking Matrix, or DTM) reached 178,695 families, corresponding to 1,072,170 individuals.

Of these IDPs, more than 846,252 individuals (141,042 families) are still displaced. Another 225,918 IDPs have now returned, with an estimated 80 per cent going back to their districts of origin in East Mosul.

Of all the IDPs currently displaced by the Mosul operations, over 360,100 (or 42 per cent) live in camps and emergency sites around Mosul. IOM’s emergency sites host nearly 22 per cent of these individuals.

IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Thomas Lothar Weiss said, “The scale of destruction in West Mosul is enormous and the challenge of reconstruction is no small feat in ensuring the return of hundreds of thousands of displaced Iraqis to their communities and livelihoods. IOM has been on the ground since the start, providing humanitarian assistance, shelter and livelihood support, and is committed to continue with the help of the necessary funding from its donor partners.”

The DTM is collaborating closely with local authorities to extend the tracking system in West Mosul. DTM will focus particularly on setting up a returnee tracking system where levels of displacement affecting West Mosul are greater compared with those on the eastern bank of the Tigris.

The DTM will soon release its report, Mosul Military Operations: Population Movement Analysis (October 2016 to June 2017). The report provides a chronological examination of displacement and return movements that took place during the military operations which started on 17 October 2016.

About IOM

Established in 1951, IOM is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration and works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners.

With 166 member states, a further 8 states holding observer status and offices in over 100 countries, IOM is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. It does so by providing services and advice to governments and migrants.

IOM works to help ensure the orderly and humane management of migration, to promote international cooperation on migration issues, to assist in the search for practical solutions to migration problems and to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, including refugees and internally displaced people.

The IOM Constitution recognizes the link between migration and economic, social and cultural development, as well as to the right of freedom of movement.

IOM works in the four broad areas of migration management:

  • Migration and development
  • Facilitating migration
  • Regulating migration
  • Forced migration.

IOM activities that cut across these areas include the promotion of international migration law, policy debate and guidance, protection of migrants’ rights, migration health and the gender dimension of migration.

 

Displacement Tracking Matrix:

IOM’s DTM actively monitors displacement across Iraq. 

DTM products and information about DTM methodology can be found on the DTM portal: iraqdtm.iom.int

The latest DTM Emergency Tracking figures on displacement from Mosul are available at: http://iraqdtm.iom.int/EmergencyTracking.aspx

 

[Source: UN International Organization for Migration (IOM) -/- Media Relations]
[Photo Credits: inserted by openeyesopinion.com credits embedded]

###


Visiting Las Vegas?… Check out this website first



Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2017 openeyesopinion.com
Share This Post
Share on Facebook0Share on Google+1Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Reddit0Pin on Pinterest0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on LinkedIn0Digg thisShare on Yummly0Share on Tumblr0Buffer this pagePrint this pageEmail this to someone





Related News

  • Hungary’s Foreign Affairs Minister – “The Threat Of Terrorism Has Never Been As Serious As It Is Now”
  • Spain – Police Are Investigating Links Between The Catalonia Attacks And The Barcelona Network
  • Danish And Swedish Maritime Authorities Continue Search For The Body Of Swedish Journalist Missing From Mini-Submarine
  • Car Rams Into Bus Shelters In The South Of France – One Person Killed
  • France – An All Male Illegal Migrant Center That Has Been Setup In The Gym Of Université Paris-Descartes, Paris – Sparks Controversy
  • Afghanistan Increases Its’ ‘Special Operations Forces’ To Combat The Taliban
  • Young Kenyan Girls Against The Muslim Practice Of Female Genital Mutilation, Use Technology to Combat The Procedure
  • After The Lebanese Military Attack Killed 20 ISIS Militants, They Raised The Spanish Flag
  • Spain Proclaims Barcelona Terror Cell Has Been Dismantled
  • Islamic State Atrocities Increase In North And East Afghanistan
  • The Lebanese Army Has Launched An Offensive Against An Islamic State Enclave
  • Russia – Eight People Have Been Injured In A Stabbing Attack In The Siberian City Of Surgu
  • Cowardly Jihadists Continue Using Ramming Attacks Against ‘Soft Targets’
  • One-Third Of Bangladesh And Nepal Have Been Flooded Affecting 16 Million People
  • France’s ‘First Lady’, Brigitte Macron, Announces Her Charter Will Show That She Is Not Being Paid A Taxpayer-Funded Salary
  • Pakistan’s Populist Opposition Leader, Imran Khan, Advocates ‘Open Borders’ With Afghanistan