Today I went on a mission to the biggest IDP camp in Iraq established to give shelter to 65,000 people from Mosul City, Tal Afar, Baj and other areas recently retaken. A car ride through the eastern and western parts of Mosul through villages passing by other IDP camps to arrive at the largest one reveals in a nutshell where Iraq finds itself to date.
Mosul East – the part of the city which was not heavily effected by the fighting, where people were able to return quickly and everyone is working hard on re-establishing their lives. Market are open, families repair their houses, trade is back, schools are open and the streets are full of people and cars.
Mosul West – still highly militarized, but especially majorly destroyed. Rebuilding lives here is and will stay a major task and challenge for the people, the government and the international community. The level of destruction only conveys a glimpse of the human suffering behind it.
The IDP camp – thousands of people who would like to return home, but are unable to do so because of the lack of security, services and private housing, Thousand of people who are in need of humanitarian assistance now – especially in light of the winter months – and in the future – during the process of return.
It is crazy to drive along streets, through neighbourhoods and villages which a year ago were still under the control of ISIL. Despite the good stories, we shall not forget the complexity of the results of a three years occupancy of ISIL, a horrific war, massive displacement and the deep wounds in peoples‘ hearts and minds.