Mohammed’s house was destroyed by airstrikes during the offensive to retake Mosul. He is now unemployed, and has no money to rebuild it. He is hoping to receive compensation from the government to rebuild and return home with his family, but to date hardly anyone has been compensated for their losses. Photo: Helen Baker/NRC

Mosul still a pile of rubble one year on

NRC|Published 05. Jul 2018
More than 380,000 people are still displaced in and around Mosul as the city lies in ruins with a staggering 8 million tons of debris, a year since it was retaken from Islamic State Group, the Norwegian Refugee Council warned today.

"What was hailed by the Iraqi authorities and the international community as a victory a year ago has not translated to relief from abject misery for many Iraqis from Mosul," said NRC's Iraq Country Director Wolfgang Gressmann. "One year on, they are still waiting to return to normality and the international community is not helping enough."

Around 90 per cent of western Mosul is still devastated, 62 schools are completely destroyed and 207 damaged. A third of the displaced Mosul residents have told NRC that they may face eviction from where they are sheltering because they cannot afford the rent.


The remains of the Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul, Iraq. Built in 1172–1173, it was destroyed by the Islamic State group on 21 June 2017. Photo: Tom Peyre-Costa/NRC


"Unfortunately, over the last year, we have seen very nominal support for the displaced people of Iraq from the international community. It's unthinkable that families who have been suffering for years under Islamic State group are now suffering because of the lack of international support," Gressmann said. "Without financial support, Iraq will remain plagued by instability and despair."

Firas, the owner of a bakery shop in west Mosul told NRC: "I came back a year ago after the fighting ended. So far, we haven't seen any change in the city. My area is still destroyed and most of the support comes from the people themselves."

NRC has supported the reopening of 21 schools, rebuilding hundreds of homes and offered legal assistance to displaced families.

"It is still a drop in the ocean, but a concrete example of what more needs to be done as Iraqis struggle to survive on a daily basis," Gressmann added. "We will however be unable to help unless donor governments keep funding going for the reconstruction and healing of Iraq."


Firas Fadhil is the owner of a bakery shop in West Mosul. He came back to his neighbourhood one year ago, after the retaking operations ended. Until now, he has not seen any changes in the area. The city is still a pile of rubbles. Photo: Helen Baker/NRC


Photos and B-roll can be downloaded for free use and distribution from the links provided. You can find the Arabic and French version here.

Key figures:
  •  Around 54,000 houses in Mosul and surrounding areas are still destroyed
  •  383,934 people, or 63,989 families, are displaced inside and around Mosul
  • 80% of youth are unemployed
  • US$874 million are needed to repair basic infrastructure in Mosul