Joint efforts by three United Nations agencies – the World Food Programme (WFP), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) – saw over 42,000 people in eastern Mosul receive food, dignity kits, water purification tablets, jerry cans, and baby hygiene kits yesterday, marking the largest humanitarian aid delivery since the beginning of the current conflict.
For the first time in over two weeks, security conditions have allowed humanitarian agencies to reach families living in the suburbs of eastern Mosul. Iraqi military operations have been under way in and around the city since October, which authorities launched an offensive to oust terrorists form the area. The UN agencies spent eight hours gathering families and providing them with humanitarian supplies and food as a part of an interagency operation.
WFP provided six-days’ worth of ready-to-eat food supplies, UNFPA provided dignity kits for women, and UNICEF delivered one month’s supply of water purification tablets, high energy biscuits, jerry cans, baby hygiene kits and leaflets with information on child protection and basic mine awareness.
“Access and security are the biggest concerns facing the entire humanitarian community trying to assist families affected by the conflict,” stated Sally Haydock, Country Director and WFP Representative for in Iraq, adding that it is a great relief for the agency to be able to assist so many struggling families in Mosul who are running out of food.
“I saw thousands of happy welcoming children today, it was a very large and important distribution which allowed us to reach more than 21,000 children in eastern Mosul,” said Bastien Vigneau, UNICEF’s Regional Emergency Advisor who coordinated the aid delivery. The advisor also stressed the importance and urgency of delivering longer-term services to these areas to normalize life for children there.
In addition, Nestor Owomuhangi, UNFPA Deputy Representative assured that the agency is working very hard to provide immediate relief to women and girls affected by the conflict. “The dignity kits that we have managed to distribute today to over 9,000 women and girls include feminine hygiene products, basic clothing like a dress and head cover.”
They offer more than the basic requirements as they allow women to take care of their well-being and enable them to gain confidence to get out of their tents or houses to seek other available services, he added.