London- President of the Turkish Red Crescent said on Friday the agency is sending trucks of aid to northern Iraq with enough food and humanitarian supplies for 10,000 people displaced by fighting in Mosul.
In preparation for a long-anticipated offensive on the last major stronghold held by ISIS in Iraq, Iraqi and Kurdish forces have seized territory around Mosul in recent days. the United Nations and Turkey have warned of a potential wave of refugees.
“In the first stage, we are sending this aid to the nearly 30 villages around Mosul that have been liberated. There are 3,000 to 4,000 people on the move from those villages, the trucks aim to reach them,” Kerem Kinik, president of the Turkish Red Crescent, told Reuters.
The 20-truck convoy is carrying supplies including dried food, clothing and several hundred tents and beds. It also has enough clothing for as many as 35,000 people.
Kinik said between 150,000-400,000 people could ultimately be displaced from Mosul and that additional camps, on top of more than 40 already in place, were being built by Turkish aid agencies in northern Iraq in preparation.
“In a bad scenario, a new refugee camp, one for 100,000 people, could be built. The current camps are for 20,000 people,” Kinik said, adding that the Red Crescent was working in coordination with northern Iraq’s regional government and with the United Nations’ humanitarian arm, OCHA.
The Iraqi military offensive to retake Mosul threatens to produce one of the largest man-made displacement crises of recent times, UNHCR’s Matthew Saltmarsh representative in Iraq has warned Anadolu Agency.
As the clock ticks, the U.N. Refugee Agency is working intensively with partners to ensure that the humanitarian community is ready for the expected human outflow.
Humanitarian agencies predict that more than 1 million people could be displaced by the offensive by Iraqi Government forces to retake the country’s second city. They expect at least 700,000 will need urgent assistance in the form of shelter, food, water or medical support.
Saltmarsh revealed that the commission has established five camps with the capacity to hold 45,000 uprooted Iraqis near Mosul.
This time, UNHCR’s strategy has been built around expanding and creating new camps, and pre-positioning emergency supplies and shelter kits to try to assist any outflow.
Saltmarsh reported that a “crescent of camps” was being readied in safe locations in four governorates around Mosul. Of these, 11 are either planned or completed and another four existing camps have capacity. Together, these could ultimately accommodate 20,000 family plots or about 120,000 people. In addition, government camps could accommodate about 150,000 people.
Saltmarsh also revealed that the UNHCR will be able to accommodate 570,000 Iraqis. UNHCR’s Mosul response budget of US$196.2 million is currently just over 38 per cent funded.