18:20 GMT +319 February 2019
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    Iraqi security forces advance towards the western side of Mosul, Iraq February 19, 2017

    UN Aid Agencies Prepare for Impact of Military Operations in Western Mosul

    © REUTERS / Khalid al Mousily
    Middle East
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    UN humanitarian agencies in Iraq have been bracing for the humanitarian impact of the newly launched operation to liberate Mosul, according to the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier on Sunday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi announced the start of the operations to liberate the western part of Mosul from Daesh.

    "We don’t know what will happen during the military campaign but we have to be ready for all scenarios. Tens of thousands of people may flee or be forced to leave the city. Hundreds of thousands of civilians might be trapped — maybe for weeks, maybe for months… Protecting civilians is the highest priority in a situation like this" Lise Grande, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, said, as quoted in the OCHA statement.

    Citing recent surveys, the OCHA stressed that the city was running low on food and fuel supplies, with the majority of food stores ill supplied or closed and limited electricity. The statement further notes that "few, if any commercial supplies have reached Mosul during the past three months after the main road to Syria was cut-off."

    The organization is said to be constructing emergency sites south of the city and preparing aid supplies for civilians who may flee during the operation.

    The United Nations temporarily suspended humanitarian aid operations in the newly liberated parts of eastern Mosul on Tuesday due to worsening security conditions on the ground. The resumption of the missions was scheduled for Sunday.

    Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, was captured by Daesh militants in June 2014. Iraqi and US-led coalition forces liberated the eastern part of the city in late January 2017, while its western part remains under terrorists’ control. Based on UN estimates, there are between 750,000 and 800,000 civilians residing in western Mosul.


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    UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Haider Abadi, Iraq, Mosul
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