The devastation in western Mosul is extreme, the people have been damaged, says Peter Hawkins of the UNICEF mission in Iraq. The psycho-social care of children of the Iraqi city has to be our paramount concern, he added.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over Islamic State on Thursday saying the army recaptured the Grand al-Nuri Mosque in Mosul where ISIS declared a caliphate three years ago. Months of fierce fighting between the terrorists and the US-led coalition have devastated not only the city but also the lives of hundreds of thousands of locals.
UNICEF mission representative in Iraq, Peter Hawkins says it’s difficult to say at the moment how many lives were lost.
“We still haven’t got full facts yet. Children are the innocent victims of any war. In this particular war, those children still trapped in western Mosul are in dire need of protection. And this is what we are calling for,” he told RT.
“We said the same thing about Ramadi and the western part of Mosul is no different; the whole way of life has been taken away from the people, but the resilience of those people and especially those children in Ramadi. Educational services, schools started to open very quickly and started to offer a ray of hope for the people returning. In eastern Mosul, over 350 schools are now open. They started to open within 100 days of the conflict restarting there. It is possible, but the devastation of West Mosul is extreme, the people have been damaged, the psycho-social care of these children has to be our paramount concern,” Hawkins said.