BAGHDAD/HONG KONG, 17 October 2016 – More than half a million children and their families in Mosul will be at extreme risk in the coming weeks, UNICEF warned today as a military operation to retake the northern Iraqi city gets under way.
“Mosul’s children have already suffered immensely over the past two years. Many could be forcibly displaced, trapped between fighting lines, or caught in the cross fire,” said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Representative in Iraq.
UNICEF has prepositioned enough water, showers, latrines and hygiene kits for over 150,000 people immediately, with plans to reach over 350,000 over the next few weeks.
Mobile teams are on standby to care for the most critical cases of mental and physical trauma among the children.
Together with the Ministry of Health, UNICEF also has over 50 teams on standby to start a vaccination campaign against diseases like polio and measles.
“We are working around the clock to ensure that wherever the children are, UNICEF will be there with them,” said Hawkins.
UNICEF calls on all sides involved in the conflict to protect children and to respect international humanitarian law so that children and their families can safely get through this intense period of violence.