10 Feb 2017 |

Mission East is distributing aid near Mosul frontline

20 January 2017

The Dane Knud Andersen and his Mission East team have distributed emergency aid to 9,000 displaced people in and around Mosul. “We are close to the frontline and can hear planes and artillery above us,” he said.

This week, Mission East distributed more emergency aid to people fleeing the fighting in the Iraqi city of Mosul. The organisation has handed out cooking utensils and hygiene kits to hundreds of families near the war zone.

“Not far from here, the fighting is raging in Mosul itself, and we can hear the sound of fighter planes and artillery. We are close to the frontline, and we need to be to make a real difference,” Mission East’s emergency relief coordinator Knud Andersen said at the distribution.

According to the UN, appr. 162,000 people have been displaced because of the fighting between the terrorist organisation Islamic State and Iraqi security forces. Mission East has distributed aid to 9,000 people in and around Mosul who have been affected by the fighting.

“Thank you, Mission East. You return to Mosul again and again to help us,” said a leading official from one of the local areas where Mission East has been operating.

Unexploded ammunition in the fields

On Monday 16 January, 153 families in a village northeast of Mosul received so-called settlement kits for 900 people. The kits contained mattresses, blankets, hygiene kits, kitchen utensils, a stove and fuel.

The beneficiaries are people fleeing the fighting in Mosul city itself as well as people returning to their homes following a brief escape to camps outside Mosul. Their homes have been severely damaged after months of shooting, frequent air raids and looting. The families seek shelter in houses that are largely intact, but unexploded ammunition in the surrounding fields still constitutes a danger.

“These people have returned to their village hoping to live in peace. They are cut off from everything and have no possibilities to buy anything. That is why they receive these kits with mattresses, blankets, cooking utensils, gas etc., so they can start preparing meals and start leading a normal life,” Knud Andersen said.

Returnees risk lives and limbs

On 18 and 19 January, Mission East trucks entered the liberated, eastern part of Mosul city itself. In this area, 500 and later 505 families – altogether 6,000 people – received mobile survival kits. The kits contained blankets, tarpaulins, sunpowered lamps, kitchen utensils, and hygiene and first aid kits.

“There were so many happy faces during the distribution,” the Mission East team reported. These IDPs have the fled the fighting in other parts of Mosul. They are staying in private homes that are filled to the brink with up to four families at a time. Some are risking their lives and limbs by trying to return to the conflict zone to collect their belongings because so many people have to share the same things. The displaced receive mobile survival kits because they are expected to remain here briefly before returning to their homes or continuing to safer areas.

Earlier in January, Mission East distributed aid to 2,100 displaced people in Mosul. The relief kits are distributed as part of a coordinated effort under the leadership of the UN. They are an important supplement to food aid and health services provided by other organisations.

Facts about the relief kits

Mobile survival kit: Cutlery, cups, plates, bowl, soap, shampoo, detergent, diapers, toothbrushes, toothpaste, sanitary pads, towel, tarpaulin, blankets, solar lantern, duct tape, nylon rope, backpack, and a first aid kit containing plasters, bandages, safety pins, disposable gloves, scissors, wipes, tape, suncream, insect bite ointment, mosquito repellant, tweezers and gauze.

Settlement kit: Bowls, jugs, cooking pot, frying pan, cutlery, kitchen knives – all made from stainless steel. Stirring spoons, scouring pad, gas cooker, mattresses and blankets. Bucket with lid, collapsible jerry can, toilet jug, soap, detergent, dishwashing detergent, antiseptic disinfectant, shampoo, diapers, toothpaste, tooth brushes, sanitary pads, bath towels, washing line, garbage bags.