Moving into Mosul

23 March 2018

The humanitarian operation in Iraq has reached a critical juncture with the retaken areas, including Mosul city, facing high numbers of returnees despite huge levels of destruction, few available services and little opportunities for livelihoods. It is imperative for humanitarian actors to move into the city to provide direct assistance and to support much needed reconstruction. Many organisations have faced problems maintaining an adequate supply chain and securing suitable storage facilities within the city of Mosul to support their operations.

The Logistics Cluster, is therefore working to bridge this gap in the humanitarian supply chain. The cluster is conducting storage assessments in both east and west Mosul to evaluate available capacity and to build a network of relevant contacts for organisations seeking storage at the final distribution point. A number of feasible sites have been identified in the east, but as nearly 80 percent of west Mosul was destroyed it has been difficult to find existing warehouses in functioning condition. Therefore, the cluster is also reaching out to relevant ministries and mine action groups to determine areas that have been adequately cleared of explosive hazards which could be used to erect mobile storage units (MSUs) for additional temporary storage capacity.

Throughout this process, the team will maintain links with local businesses and encourage the development and restoration of existing structures to meet the ongoing demand for storage services, and in turn supporting local income.

A further constraint to humanitarian operations in Mosul is the crossing from one side of the Tigris river to the other. All five bridges that connect the east and west of Mosul city were destroyed and reconstruction is proceeding slowly. Temporary replacement bridges have been installed to allow for people and traffic to traverse the river but they are subject to heavy congestion and delays, and have low weight bearing capacity. The Logistics Cluster is working with the OCHA Civil Military unit and city authorities to conduct comprehensive bridge assessments which will help organisations with their transport planning.  Finally, the Logistics Cluster is reaching out to a number of agencies, contractors and authorities to compile a more comprehensive list of verified suppliers operating in Mosul city, particularly in the west. This is in response to the difficulty organisations are facing in finding Mosul-based companies, with proper registration, which are able to provide high quality and consistent services.

Temporary bridge