A senior United Nations official in Iraq told Reuters that it will cost more than $1 billion to repair the infrastructure of Mosul following a US-led campaign to support Iraqi forces in their battle to retake the city from Daesh’s control.
Although advances are still slow, the Iraqi army commanders expect to achieve a final victory this week after a fierce, eight-month long military campaign in the city that used to be inhabited by two million people. Daesh’s control is now limited to a 1,500-metre area by the Tigris River, Reuters reported.
The battle between the Iraqi forces and Daesh has resulted in the destruction of at least six districts out of 44 in Western Mosul and the displacement of almost half of the city’s population, the news wire added.
The UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, Lise Grande, said an initial assessment has shown that the “stabilisation” process, which includes repairing water, sewage and electricity infrastructure networks and reopening schools and hospitals, would cost more than double the initial estimates.
Damages are worse than expected and far worse in Mosul’s west compared to the east that was retaken from Daesh six months ago, she added.
“In western Mosul what we’re seeing is the worst damage of the entire conflict. In those neighbourhoods where the fighting has been the fiercest, we’re looking at levels of damage incomparable to anything else that has happened in Iraq so far,” Grande said.