As the battle for Mosul nears Debaga displaced peoples camp in northern Iraq grow larger by the day.
Reports vary on the number of residents still in the city, from seven hundred thousand to more than double that, and no one knows how many will get trapped by the fighting and how many will be able to flee.
Meanwhile winter is approaching and the food, tents and medical supplies needed for the influx of homeless people is getting stretched.
“Every day between 100 and 150 families arrive at the Debaga camp. These families comprise around 600 to 700 people, daily,” said Ahmad Abdo, the camp’s manager.
Another displaced peoples’ camp capable of housing 5,000 people is being erected at Khazer and the fear is that it will end up housing many more.
The UN says it’s expecting at least 200,000 people to flee Mosul as the battle to oust ISIL from the city begins.
USA for UNHCR (@UNRefugeeAgency) October 19, 2016
The Iraqi government has told Mosul’s residents it will be safer for them to stay put whilst the fighting is raging.
Meanwhile ISIL is actively preventing civilians from fleeing with reports from Reuters new agency suggesting that some civilians are being moved to buildings likely to be targeted by airstrikes from the Iraqi governments and its allies, including the UK and the US.
Senior aid officials say there is no way of knowing whether there’ll be a full-blown humanitarian crisis or not – but if there is they fear they’ll be overwhelmed.
#Mosul citizens must be able to trust their liberators, says .— Caroline Gluck (@carogluck) October 19, 2016
RefugeesChief</a> <a href="https://t.co/JXWtpqONQP">https://t.co/JXWtpqONQP</a> via <a href="https://twitter.com/RudawEnglish">RudawEnglish