MOSUL OFFENSIVE: ACTION AGAINST HUNGER READY TO SUPPORT CIVILIANS DISPLACED BY BATTLE FOR MOSUL
With the Iraqi operation to recapture the city of Mosul under way, Action Against Hunger has deployed its emergency team to Erbil and has finalised its response strategy amid concerns about operating in such a fluid context.
“Our main challenge is to anticipate population movements and reach those fleeing the fighting,” said Charlotte Schneider, head of emergency at Action Against Hunger. “We have identified probable displacement routes and our emergency stocks are ready, but the situation could evolve quickly.”
Humanitarian organisations have prepared different scenarios to coordinate an appropriate emergency response given the highly fluid context. Action Against Hunger has designed a flexible response strategy to be able to respond swiftly to the rapidly evolving situation.
“Our key priority is to deliver humanitarian aid to those in need—as soon as people leave the city. We want to be first-line responders in the most affected areas,” said Ms Schneider.
Action Against Hunger is mobilising teams from its two bases in Dohuk and Erbil and stands ready to deliver emergency supplies such as food, water and sanitation equipment. The organisation is recruiting 170 new staff, who will be dedicated to the emergency.
Mobile teams will operate from both cities in areas north and east of Mosul, where large influxes of people are expected. In the first instance, Action Against Hunger is planning to launch a two-month humanitarian response at temporary sites where displaced families will be screened by authorities.
The organisation will then focus on informal camps and settlements, where the needs are expected to remain dire for a longer time. Action Against Hunger will distribute food, cooking sets, and basic emergency shelter and hygiene kits. It will also provide access to water, install latrines and showers, and provide psychological support to help children recover from the traumatic experiences they’ve been through.
Action Against Hunger plans to provide assistance to 90,000 people fleeing Mosul in addition to its ongoing humanitarian activities, which have supported more than 250,000 people since the beginning of 2016.