Humanitarian planning for the ‘day after’ Mosul

With plans advancing for the battle to retake Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul, from ISIS, the military campaign to seize territory is making such rapid progress in Iraq and Syria that it now presents a daunting challenge: how to get humanitarian and political preparations to catch up.

Defense and foreign ministers from over 30 nations met in Washington July 20-21 to plan how to provide humanitarian relief, reconstruction and government services to care for and try to win hearts and minds of the millions of people expected to be displaced or severely impacted in the operations, most of them Sunnis, so that ISIS — once uprooted — does not find fertile ground again.

“Every victory on the battlefield creates another humanitarian crisis,” Lise Grande, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Iraq, told an Iraq pledging conference held at the State Department in Washington July 20.

Some 660,000 people are expected to flee their homes and as many as 1.5 million people will be severely affected in the operation to retake Mosul, Grande said, describing it as the biggest humanitarian challenge Iraq has faced.

[Al Monitor]

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