Crisis in Mosul

What's happening in Mosul
and how is Unicef helping children?

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Home > Helping children in Mosul, Iraq

In October 2016, Iraqi forces launched an offensive to take control of the northern city of Mosul from ISIL. So far, more than 180,000 people have had to flee their homes. The fighting may have affected up to 1.5 million people living in the city, and over half of those in danger may be children.

What is more, an estimated one million people in Mosul are still out of reach from humanitarian help. Families in parts of the city have been cut off from access to clean water, putting children in danger of disease. Most displaced people are now in newly constructed camps, or are sheltering in abandoned buildings.

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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, Unicef is there to meet them. Our colleagues are providing emergency food, water and dignity kits to almost 138,000 vulnerable people, and supporting the local government by trucking clean water into the city.

This winter, we hope to reach 300,000 children with warm winter clothing and supplies to keep them safe from freezing temperatures.

For children and families living in transit sites and camps in the surrounding area, we’ve provided water and sanitation services for around 157,000 people and sent out Unicef-supported mobile health teams to provide polio and measles vaccinations to 13,000 displaced children in surrounding camps.

On 23 January, students go to class at a school in eastern Mosul. Schools are starting to re-open as part of the Ninewa Directorate of Education’s efforts to bring back regular classroom learning to children in the city after over two years of closure under ISIL control. Heba, Noor, and Janna are back in class at a recently re-opened school in eastern Mosul. UNICEF Iraq/2017/Anmar

Heba, Noor, and Janna are back in class at a recently re-opened school in eastern Mosul.
Unicef/2017/Anmar

Back to school in Mosul

As the fighting subsides in East Mosul, around 30 schools have reopened with help from Unicef, allowing over 23,000 children to get back to learning.

“Just a few weeks ago, 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.”

Children line up to receive UNICEF-supplied backpacks at a school in eastern Mosul that re-opened its doors on 22 January 2017, as part of the Ninewa Directorate of Education’s efforts to bring back regular classroom learning to children in the city after over two years of closure under ISIL control. A generous donation from the German Bank for Reconstruction (KfW) supports UNICEF’s work to provide school supplies and support for newly re-opened schools in Mosul. All photos from January 22: UNICEF Iraq/2017/Ramadhan

How can I help children in Iraq?

Unicef has been active in Iraq since 1952, and we’re expanding our aid operations in country in response to the crisis. However, if current trends continue, and we don’t find further funding, humanitarian needs will soon outpace our response. With your help, we can continue to be there for children and families in Iraq.

A donation of £58 today could provide an emergency water and hygiene kit for two families affected by the crisis in Mosul. Please donate now to help us keep these children safe.

Help keep a child safe during the Iraq conflict

Donate now