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The latest numbers show a steady increase of displaced in Mosul since the offensive began in Iraq over one month ago. The UN humanitarian office said that over 68,000 have been displaced with 14,000 arriving to camps in the past week.
At least 150,000 people have already fled Shirqat and Al Qayyarah, near Mosul, in recent weeks, and UNHCR estimates that more than 1 million people could become displaced as the operation pursues its goal of retaking the city.
As the number of men, women and children fleeing their homes continues to grow by the day, the UN refugee agency is drawing up contingency plans to reach and provide protection and humanitarian aid to those most in need.
In the past five months, the number of displaced Iraqis like Ali sheltering at Debaga camp – in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) - has swollen ten-fold to more than 36,000 people. They stay in different tented sites, with new arrivals every day, outnumbering the local town's small population of around 2,000.
In total, some 3.3 million people – equivalent to almost 10 per cent of the population of Iraq – have been uprooted by fighting since the start of 2014. Those currently fleeing Mosul and its surrounding areas join around half-a-million people who fled the city in June 2014, after a week of heavy fighting.
Over 300,000 found shelter in the KRI, while others scattered across the country. Many are facing great hardship, sheltering in unfinished buildings, makeshift shelters or mosques. Many are unable to find regular work, skip meals because of the costs, and struggle to pay rent or send their children to school.