accessibility & help

Iraq: Red Cross responds to Mosul onslaught

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17 October 2016

A young girl sits on the ground eating a piece of bread as other people sit behind her looking down

The Red Cross is ready to start providing humanitarian aid in the wake of fighting in Mosul, which started this morning.

More than a million people are expected to flee their homes and leave the city. Thanks to supporters of our Iraq Crisis Appeal, the British Red Cross has already funded more than 7,500 food parcels, enough for 45,000 people.

This will contribute to the response by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which will provide food to approximately 270,000 people – around 45,000 families – near the conflict area.

Our partner the Iraq Red Crescent will also supply thousands of families with clean water, blankets and other essentials such as soap and kitchen sets. This will help people stay healthy, and cook and eat their own food.

The UN estimates that 1.5 million people could be directly affected by the attack on Mosul, which could make this one of the largest humanitarian crises of 2016. ICRC and Red Crescent staff and volunteers are on standby to support people as they leave the city.

Red Cross extends support

The Red Cross and Red Crescent have already supported more than 144,000 families who fled Mosul when a siege began there in June 2014. This included providing hot meals, food parcels, drinking water and supplies such as blankets. We also helped evacuate people to safer areas.

The people expected to flee in the current round of fighting will need basic supplies including food, clean water and toilet facilities. Teams in the area will provide these as well as first aid and basic health care.

Over three million have left their homes

More than 3.3 million people across Iraq have already had to flee their homes and more than 10 million people are in need of humanitarian aid.

This has caused many family members to become separated and there has been an increase in people using Red Cross services to find missing relatives. Landmines are also a problem in some areas, preventing people from returning home after the fighting has stopped.

The Red Cross has appealed to all groups involved in the conflict to respect and protect civilians as well as to allow people to escape the fighting.


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