Go to main content

Mosul: over 75,000 new displaced people in one month

The city of Mosul has been a battleground since October 2016. Several hundred thousand civilians are trapped by the fighting and hundreds of thousands more have already left the city. Over the past month, close to 100 000  more people managed to flee. Handicap International’s teams are assisting victims in displacement areas and hospitals.

Mosul_Hasansham camp

People displaced in Hasansham camp | © E. Fourt / Handicap International

“The battle to retake Mosul began six months ago,” explains Maud Bellon, coordinator of the organisation’s emergency response. “But since February, humanitarian needs have increased tremendously. As fighting reaches the most heavily populated areas of the city, population movements increase.” More than a third of people displaced by fighting in Mosul have fled in the past four weeks.

Sharp rise in casualties

“Although people living in the city face a high level of risk, it’s also very dangerous to flee,” explains Maud Bellon. “Since the start of the operation in western Mosul, several hundred people have received care and treatment close to the front lines for injuries sustained in the conflict. Many were hit as they tried to leave the city.” In addition to their work in camps for displaced people, the organisation’s teams work in hospitals to assist casualties by providing them with physiotherapy and psychological support sessions.

Hard living conditions inside Mosul

An estimated 750,000 people are still trapped inside Mosul, where the humanitarian situation is also critical. “Many civilians who managed to flee talk of disastrous conditions in the city, including serious shortages of food, gas, drinking water and health services,” adds the organisation’s coordinator.  “We’re particularly worried about the plight of the city’s residents, whom we can’t access while the fighting lasts.”

Serious threats for the returnees

Another source of concern is the number of families returning to their home town or village when the fighting ends. “Over 300,000 people have fled Mosul since last October, but nearly 70,000 of them have already returned home. The streets and abandoned houses not destroyed in the fighting are littered with explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices. It is still very dangerous.” In recent weeks, Handicap International has stepped up its risk education activities to ensure civilians are able to warn of the dangers and know what to do when they come across explosive devices.

Where we work

Read more

Caught in an horrific bombing, Nora is supported by HI teams in Yemen
© Feida/HI
Explosive weapons Rehabilitation

Caught in an horrific bombing, Nora is supported by HI teams in Yemen

Nora was seriously injured by a missile that fell outside the entrance to Al-Thawra Hospital in Al-Hudaydah, Yemen, as she arrived by bus with friends. She is being supported by Humanity & Inclusion's teams.

Half a tonne of weapons and bombs destroyed in Tawergha, Libya
© HI
Explosive weapons

Half a tonne of weapons and bombs destroyed in Tawergha, Libya

Since November 2018, Humanity & Inclusion's six weapons specialists have removed 150 explosive devices from the streets of Tawergha, a city south of Misrata, Libya. Team leader Simon Elmont tells us more about the organisation’s work.

Safaa, 2, starts to walk again thanks to rehabilitation care
© Oriane van den Broeck / HI
Health Rehabilitation

Safaa, 2, starts to walk again thanks to rehabilitation care

In Jordan, Humanity & Inclusion has helped 450 children with disabilities or developmental delay since July 2017. The parents of two-year-old Safaa, who has cerebral palsy, are among those who have benefited from its expertise.