ERBIL, Iraq (October 16, 2016) — Children fleeing Mosul following the ongoing military offensive to re-take the city from ISIL will need years of specialist support to rebuild their lives, World Vision warns today.
Up to a million people could leave the city, which has been occupied since June 2014. The routes they are likely to take, and how long it will take to escape, remain unclear.
The Christian humanitarian organization is working around the clock to pre-position supplies of food, clean water and hygiene kits. Child friendly spaces– safe places where children can find some normality in the chaos and receive psychological support – will be set up in camps where displaced people arrive.
Khalil Sleiman, World Vision’s Response Manager for northern Iraq, said:
“We’re already supporting half a million people who fled Mosul when it was first occupied over two years ago. We’re now poised for another massive influx of children and families who will have been through horrific experiences most of us could never imagine.
“They will arrive with nothing but the clothes on their back and will be thirsty, hungry, and need urgent medical attention.
“The violence will also have taken a devastating emotional toll on children, many of whom will need years of specialist support to rebuild their lives, come to terms with what happened, and to regain some kind of normality.
“Children always bear the brunt of conflict and we call for humane treatment at every stage of the process of the Mosul operation – including screening when boys as young as 14 may be separated from their families.”
The organization is also raising concerns that identification documents may have been confiscated during ISIL occupation, which could lead to issues with registration. Separating fathers from the family for protracted periods during screening may also make families for vulnerable, the charity has warned.
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About World Vision:
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization conducting relief, development, and advocacy activities in its work with children, families, and their communities in nearly 100 countries to help them reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. For more information, please visit www.WorldVision.org/about-us/media-center or follow us on Twitter @WorldVisionNews.
- Up to a million people could leave the city, which has been occupied since June 2014.
- World Vision working to pre-position supplies of food, clean water and hygiene kits, will set up Child Friendly Spaces for children to find normalcy.