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“International community must act immediately or risk future chaos” warns leading UK charity in Mosul on the anniversary of battle

Human Appeal, who have the largest aid operations of all British NGOs working in Mosul, says that if the international community does not comprehensively support the city’s recovery, following the campaign to retake Mosul from ISIS which began a year ago today, then it is likely that severe instability and conflict could resurface in Iraq’s beleaguered second city in the coming years.

The battle to retake Mosul began on October 17th 2016, however Omar Ali, who is Human Appeal’s Head of Mission in Iraq, is strongly encouraging the international community to “act now or risk future chaos in the years to come.”

Omar also expresses concerns in regard to the recent tensions in between the Kurdish Regional Government and the Federal Government of Iraq. “One of the notable successes of the Mosul response, in comparative perspective of regional conflict zones, was how the Federal Iraqi and Kurdish authorities accommodated NGOs to facilitate frontline assistance to those in need during and following the conflict. However, with the current internal uncertainty, we are primarily concerned how this could affect, and potentially hinder, our ability to conduct on-going daily life-saving work. We hope that both the Federal Iraqi and Kurdish authorities will continue to commit, in good faith, the facilitation of vital humanitarian responses.”

“Whilst we are right to be concerned about the internal uncertainty looming over other areas of Iraq during the past week’s events, we must not ignore that today is a major milestone for Mosul. A year ago today, the Mosul operation began and whilst those outside of Iraq might think that the operation is over, it is clear to us here on the ground that if the international community does not rally around to support Mosul’s early-recovery, reconstruction, economic revival and social cohesion quickly, it is more likely that conflict and instability may manifest itself again in future years, which will further destroy the lives of many that have already suffered.”

“Whilst NGOs like Human Appeal have been scaling-up their aid operation here in Mosul, there are still significant needs to be met, such as mental health and psychosocial support for both adults and children.A huge investment in mental health experts is needed to address the psychological trauma that has scarred Mosul’s consciousness. We need to start talking about how we rebuild and empower communities, as well as infrastructure.”

“We at Human Appeal have conducted nearly 20,000 household assessments in Mosul in partnership with UNHCR, reaching around 120,000 people and they identified their key worries to be jobs, safety, security and basic human rights such as access to education and clean water. It has been estimated by UNMAS that it will take 25 years before Mosul is completely decontaminated from unexploded objects. This, I fear, is a fitting analogy for Mosul – lying within the city’s ruins are a series of potentially life-threatening dangers and we need to work now to prevent future damage.”

Notes to Editors

Under Omar Ali who left his home in Sussex last year to start the world-leading mission in Iraq, Human Appeal have achieved the following:

  • Our (often) life-saving work by our mobile protection teams, in partnership with UNHCR, includes: protection of civilians; reunification of separated families; referring the disabled to NGOs specialised in disability assistance; protection of women from sexual exploitation and gender-based-violence; protection of children from sexual abuse; triggering rapid responses for food, shelter and water needs from other NGOs and UN agencies in hard-to-reach areas etc.
  • The largest food assistance programme in Mosul, their daily food parcel distributions are reaching over 360,000 people in the city with the World Food Programme (WFP).
  • Rehabilitating 30 schools in Mosul to ensure 21,000 children can start school this month with UNOCHA.
  • Providing urgent shelter kits to over 216,000 people were homeless during the conflict or living in homes damaged by the violence.
  • Providing essential Non-Food Item (NFI) kits to 125,000 people in Mosul and greater Ninewa.
  • Providing clean water daily to 25,000 people living in the most heavily destroyed neighbourhoods in West Mosul.
  • Running a mobile Medical Clinic across 5 camps offering so far 15,000 people access to a gynaecologist, dermatologist, paediatrician, psychiatrist, internal medicine consultant, minor surgery consultant and numerous nurses.
  • The first international NGO working in West Mosul after it was retaken from ISIS by Iraqi forces.

The battle for Mosul exceeded UN estimations of $1billion for both the amount of people displaced by the fighting and the cost of rebuilding the city afterwards. Over the course of the Battle of Mosul, over 1 million people were displaced from their homes and 673,000 still remain displaced today. 

Omar Ali, who is from Sussex, has been in Iraq as Human Appeal’s Head Of Mission since December 2016 

Human Appeal (www.humanappeal.org.uk) is one of the UK’s fastest growing charities. With a presence in 25 countries, spanning Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and here in the UK, we help in times of crisis and we deliver sustainable development programmes in the world’s poorest nations.

Omar Ali is available for interview or to provide guest content from the ground in Mosul. Other Human Appeal spokespeople are also available for interview on this and other topics.

For more information contact Charles Lawley on 07535 415 060, charles.lawley@humanappeal.org.uk

For images of Human Appeal’s work in Iraq please see this gallery https://media.humanappeal.net/?c=883&k=8bc46ec809

For images of Omar Ali please see this gallery https://media.humanappeal.net/?c=884&k=6f354911cf

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