Intense battles to liberate Mosul from ISIS control have taken a massive toll on the city, in every possible way. That’s why we are starting to rebuild the city and its infrastructure—renovating, stocking, and staffing medical clinics in east Mosul and undertaking a massive project to restore the city’s water system.
But the battle for Mosul is far from over. So, why are we rebuilding a city that is still at war?
Here are three reasons that we’re committed to rebuilding Mosul, even though the city isn’t fully liberated yet
1. The people of Mosul asked us to.
Our job is to listen and facilitate. The people of Mosul and their leaders are ready to start rebuilding their city—ready to move on from the conflict and destruction. And when people ask us for help, we try to say yes as often as we can.
2. The people of Mosul have waited long enough.
They shouldn’t have to wait until the war is totally over, until the whole city is free, until every possible threat is eliminated, to start rebuilding. They need healthcare now. They need water now. Illness doesn’t get put on hold until every neighborhood in the sprawling metropolis of Mosul is liberated from ISIS. Thirst cannot be put off until the dust settles. Moms don’t get to put off delivering babies until the water gets turned back on and there’s a safe place to deliver.
The people of Mosul have waited long enough. Far be it from us to tell them that they must wait longer... just in case.
3. Not all of Mosul is an active combat zone.
There are two parts of the city, separated by the Tigris River. West Mosul is still in active, intense conflict, still regularly experiencing devastating airstrikes and mortar attacks—and that’s where we’re showing up in newly-liberated neighborhoods with emergency aid.
East Mosul was liberated a few months ago—and that is where, in addition to providing food, we’re also building clinics and laying new water pipes.
ISIS is still capable of launching attacks in east Mosul (like the two recent suicide bombs near our clinics), but the part of the city where we are rebuilding is no longer experiencing the airstrikes and large explosives that destroyed much of the city’s infrastructure.
We cannot wait to start rebuilding Mosul. There is already too much that needs to be done, and once the entire city is liberated, there will be even more. We have to get a jump on it.
It’s a fine line between getting people what they need, when they need it, and ensuring the safety and longevity of our work. It’s not about impulse or bravado. It’s about meeting the biggest, most urgent needs for the most underserved people. Sometimes that’s food. Sometimes it’s animal feed. Sometimes it’s empowerment grants. And sometimes, it’s infrastructure and giant water pipes—even before the fighting has stopped.
Stay with us as we start the long process of rebuilding. We cannot do this without you.
Help us unmake violence and rebuild Mosul.