UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the UN would stand by the Iraqi government as it creates the necessary conditions for the voluntary, safe and dignified return of displaced communities, restoring the rule of law in freed up areas, preventing a return to violence and fostering accountability for all violations committed.
Iraq has declared "total victory" over ISIS in Mosul, retaking full control of the country's second-largest city, three years after it was seized by terrorists bent on building a global caliphate.
"The recovery of Mosul is a significant step in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism," the Secretary-General said in a statement issued by his spokesperson. Guterres also lauded the "courage, determination and perseverance" of the people and the Iraqi government. Since the military campaign to retake Mosul began in October 2016, some 920,000 civilians fled their homes, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.
"It's a relief to know that the military campaign in Mosul is ending. The fighting may be over, but the humanitarian crisis is not," said Lise Grande, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq.
"The levels of trauma we are seeing are some of the highest anywhere. What people have experienced is nearly unimaginable," Grande said.
She said aid workers "have been working around the clock" and that "enormous efforts" have been made by the Government and partners, but that there is "a lot to do in the weeks and months ahead."
The UN has called for USD 985 million to aid humanitarian projects. So far, about 43 per cent has been received, leaving a gap of USD 562 million.
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