World Vision responds to families fleeing outskirts of Mosul

World Vision is one of the first agencies to start supporting children at a new camp just 25km (15 miles) from Mosul, as a military offensive to re-take the city continues.

Child protection staff are creating safe spaces for children in the recently-constructed Zelican camp, north-east of Mosul.

The new camp comes as a military operation, announced a week ago, advances towards the city. Aid agencies fear that up to a million people could flee the fighting.

Aaron Moore, Head of Programmes for World Vision in northern Iraq, says, “Our child-friendly spaces provide a safe place for children to come to terms with the violence they’ve seen, and just take time to play as children again amidst the chaos of this conflict.

“We can only imagine the difficult journeys they’ve made and the horrors they’ve seen on the way. In most cases, they have nothing; they will be tired, hungry, thirsty and in need of food, water and somewhere to sleep.

"Our main concern at this point is the safe passage of children and their families out of Mosul and surrounding areas.”

World Vision’s response work also provides clean water, showers and toilets, hygiene kits, and basic household items like cooking stoves.

The aid agency is already responding to the needs of hundreds of thousands of people who fled Mosul when it was first taken by ISIL in June 2014.