There may not be enough space in camps to accommodate the tens of thousands of internally displaced people (IDP) currently fleeing their homes in western Mosul amid intense fighting in the city, a United Nations official has said.
At least 50,000 people have made their way to the camps on the eastern side of the Tigris River, but the UN warns that if the number rapidly increases, they will be hard pressed to find a place for the new arrivals.
Up to 450,000 are expected to make their way to the camps, Lise Grande, humanitarian coordinator for the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, said. Field workers, she said, are “working around the clock” to construct additional emergency tents as quickly as possible.
As the US-led Iraqi army offensive to retake the western half of the city from ISIL continues to push on, at least 700,000 civilians are still trapped inside, with food and fuel supplies fast dwindling.
Supported by the US-led coalition bombing ISIL in Iraq and Syria, Iraqi forces began the operation to retake the western part of Mosul on February 19. West Mosul is the largest remaining urban stronghold in the “caliphate” declared by ISIL in 2014.