Iraq has been encircled by the threat posed by Daesh, which has taken power in several cities, including Iraq's second largest city Mosul. The country also suffers from sectarian conflict as the government has been prioritizing Shiites, while discriminating against the Sunni population.
Besides, corruption accusations against the government have also led to social distractions and the ongoing conflicts have a humanitarian cost.
According to the World Food Program (WFP), 10 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, while the International Organization for Migrants said that 3.1 million Iraqis have been displaced.
The WFP also said that 2.4 million people face food insecurity. Besides the Iraqis, at least 250,000 Syrian refugees try to survive under very tough circumstances in the conflict-torn country. According to the WFP, more than $250 million are needed to aid Iraqis.
According to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), civilian deaths have increased considerably in the country in the last year. For instance, last October more than 1,000 civilians lost their lives. In total, more than 6,000 people died in 2016 in the country.
However, there might be unreported deaths as it is difficult to receive news from Daesh-controlled enclaves. "The monthly U.N. casualty report for December 2016 showed that 386 civilians were killed and another 1,066 were wounded. The most affected area was the northern province of Nineveh, where government forces are fighting to retake the Daesh-held city of Mosul, with 208 civilians killed and 511 injured. The capital, Baghdad, came next with 109 civilians killed and 523 injured," the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
The battle for Mosul also claims civilian lives as the people are stuck between Daesh and Iran-backed Shiite militias.
While Daesh has made it very difficult to live in the city, the threat posed by the Shiite militias, especially the Hashd al-Shaabi, brings about a question concerning the post-liberation era. Many rights groups, primarily the Human Rights Watch (HRW), have released reports documenting atrocities, torture, displacements and human rights violations.
A 2015 Amnesty International report said, "Shiite militias have been abducting and killing Sunni civilian men in Baghdad and around the country. These militias, often armed and backed by the government of Iraq, continue to operate with varying degrees of cooperation from government forces, ranging from tacit consent to coordinated, or even joint, operations."
Life in Mosul is more difficult for civilians when compared to other areas.
"Since Daesh took control of the city and crushed the local economy, unemployment levels and poverty rates have increased significantly. The situation was further aggravated by the following factors: In July 2015 the Iraqi government was unable to continue transferring the salaries of government employees living in Daesh-occupied territories. The city's poor families stopped receiving rations from the public distribution system they used to rely on for survival; hefty fees, penalties and taxes exacerbated the vulnerability of most city residents; prices of basic commodities inflated dramatically, especially after the peshmerga closed the highways used to transport weapons and ammunition to Daesh fighters in September 2015," according to an October-dated U.N. report on Mosul.
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