Responding to an announcement made by the Iraqi Security Forces overnight 9th July 2017 that they have retaken the city of Mosul from ISIS – after a nine-month battle supported by the Australian armed forces – Oxfam’s Country Director in Iraq, Andres Gonzalez said:
“The retaking of Mosul will no doubt inspire hope among many Iraqis: hope that they can return home, rebuild their lives, and heal the divisions within their society. But these hopes will not be realised quickly or easily. Mosul residents continue to face severe risks from revenge attacks and explosives, and a lack of clean water, healthcare, and other basic services.
“The people of Mosul have already suffered enough and now families may try to return home before it is safe to do so. Those men, women and children returning to Mosul must be supported with adequate information, guarantees of security, aid from humanitarian agencies, and access to social services.
“As Mosul rebuilds, all its residents must enjoy the same rights and opportunities – whatever their gender, religion, or ethnic or tribal affiliation. In particular, Mosul residents must not face discrimination or punishment because of alleged family links to ISIS fighters.
“As the military offensives to retake the cities of Hawija and Tal Afar continue in the coming months, we expect to see even more civilians forced from their homes. The government of Iraq and the international community must not forget these families, who will also need life-saving aid and protection.”
Oxfam Australia’s humanitarian policy advisor Nicole Bieske said, the Australian Government must continue to provide the people of Iraq with humanitarian aid as they seek to recover.
“It is essential that civilians forced to flee the fighting in Mosul are treated with respect and supported to get with their lives as soon as possible,” Dr Bieske said.
Donations to support Oxfam’s emergency responses in Mosul and around the world can be made online at oxfam.org.au/iraq
For interviews or more information, please contact Dylan Quinnell on 0450 668 350 or email@example.com
Notes to editors
- Since the campaign to retake Mosul began, Oxfam has assisted more than 300,000 people affected by the conflict. Oxfam provides life-saving food, water, and protection in camps and neighbourhoods throughout Mosul district. Its work to rehabilitate the Gazlani water plant has established the first native source of clean water in western Mosul city.
- View and download photos of Oxfam’s humanitarian work around Mosul: https://wordsandpictures.oxfam.org.uk/pages/search.php?search=%21collection33376&k=4a35d89f0b