In October 2016 Iraqi forces launched an offensive to take control of the northern city of Mosul from ISIL. To date, over 790,000 civilians have now fled the city and the conflict between ISIS and the Government forces is reported to be in its final few days.
Most displaced people are now in newly constructed camps, or are sheltering in abandoned buildings. There are just under 30 displacement camps around the city, where we are operating to provide support to families fleeing the conflict.
When I saw my mum, I was so happy. I hugged her and started to cry
This story is not unusual and there are thousands of children like Mohammed who are in danger of being separated from their family. In the chaos following the liberation of Mosul, we will be working on the ground to make sure that children and families can start rebuilding their lives.
How is Unicef helping children in Mosul?
As tens of thousands more people, half of them children arrive at reception sites on the outskirts of Mosul, we are there to meet them. Our colleagues are providing emergency food, water and dignity kits, and supporting the local government by trucking clean water into the city.
For children and families living in transit sites and camps in the surrounding area, we’ve supported at least 35,300 newly-displaced children to go back to school in temporary learning centres. As the fighting subsides in east Mosul, around 320 schools have reopened with help from Unicef, allowing over 258,000 children to get back to learning.
“These neighbourhoods were gripped by violence,” said Peter Hawkins of Unicef Iraq. “Today, girls and boys are heading back to class. After the nightmare of the past two years, this is a pivotal moment for the children of Mosul to reclaim their education and their hope for a better future.”