Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

UN Chief Urges More Aid for People of Mosul | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iraqis flee on foot carrying their belongings to escape the fighting for Mosul’s Old City with the ISIS group on Mar 30, 2017. (Photo: AFP/Ahmad Gharabli)

More funding is needed for UN programs in Iraq, UN chief Antonio Guterres said Friday, calling for more solidarity from the international community for the people of Mosul.

Almost 215,000 people are currently displaced as a result of the ongoing battle to retake the second city from ISIS militants, according to the UN.

Guterres visited a camp for displaced persons about 32 kilometers east of Mosul on Friday.

“These people have suffered enormously and they go on suffering,” he said.

“We need more solidarity from the international community,” he added.

Guterres said there were no sufficient means available to help providing the people of Mosul adequate living conditions.

“We don’t have the resources that are necessary to support these people and we don’t have the international solidarity that is needed,” Guterres told journalists during his visit to the Hasan Sham Camp.

“Unfortunately, our programme here is only funded at eight percent. That shows how limited our resources are,” he stated.

The UN chief is on his second day visit to Iraq, where he met top officials, including Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, on Thursday. During his visit, Guterres condemned ISIS crimes against civilians and pledged continued aid.

As he arrived in Baghdad, Guterres called for the protection of civilians to be the “absolute priority,” following the death toll that came as a result of the Mosul battle.

UN reported earlier this month that some 600,000 civilians were still in west Mosul, 400,000 of them trapped in siege-like conditions in the Old City.

Iraqi forces launched the operation to recapture Mosul in October, retaking its east side in January before setting their sites on the smaller but more populated west.