ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie has called on the world not to forget the suffering of the people of Mosul during a visit to the Iraqi city on Saturday.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Special Envoy visited the war-torn city in what marked her fifth visit to Iraq.
The city, which was liberated from the so-called Islamic State (IS) in July 2017 with the help of Peshmerga forces, is in need of urgent reconstruction as thousands of people remain displaced from their homes.
Most of the displaced persons fled to the Kurdistan Region, which has sheltered nearly two million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who fled the extremist group in parts of Iraq and neighboring Syria.
The campaign to recapture Mosul from IS—which controlled it for three years—was considered one of the largest operations since World War II.
Aerial bombardment by Iraqi and coalition warplanes and explosives planted by the extremist group contributed to the significant destruction of the city.
While in Mosul, Jolie met with displaced families to discuss efforts to rebuild the city and provide needs for its returning population, a readout on the UNHCR website read.
“This is the worst devastation I have seen in all my years working with UNHCR,” the former actress said in front of the ruins of the al-Nuri Mosque.
“People here have lost everything: their homes are destroyed. They are destitute. They have no medicine for their children, and many have no running water or basic services. They are still surrounded by bodies in the rubble,” she added.
In February, Kuwait was host to a donor conference for the reconstruction of Iraq following the military defeat of IS.
Despite contributions and investments from Iraq’s allies, the amount donated fell short of Baghdad’s goal of $88.2 billion.
The UNHCR is involved in projects to help families affected by the conflict in Mosul, including cash assistance to rebuild their homes.
Jolie urged the international community to continue its “commitment to rebuilding and stabilizing the whole of the city.”
“I call on the international community not to forget Mosul, and not to turn their attention away from its people.”