Living standards collapse in Mosul as city reels under ISIS militants

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By Samer Saeed

Azzaman, July 3, 2014

More than half the people of Mosul have seen their living standards slashed drastically since the city fell to militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) more than three weeks ago.

Mosul is Iraq’s second largest city with a population of nearly two million people. It is the capital of the Province of Nineveh.

Thousands of families fled the city when ISIS militants controlled the city. Its inhabitants have traditionally relied mainly on government salaries and trade for their livelihood.

The provincial council says the government has stopped paying its employees in the city and there is not much trade going on at the moment.

The highway to Turkey is closed and roads leading to the Kurdish autonomous region are blocked.

Reports from inside the city speak of shortages in basic commodities, lack of liquidity and skyrocketing prices. Fuel is in short supply and electricity non-existent.

Khalaf al-Hadeedi, who administers strategic planning at the Nineveh’s provincial council, said levels of poverty have jumped to 60% and urged U.N. relief organizations to send their teams and aid to the city as soon as they can.

“The rate of poverty in Mosul has risen a great deal and has so far reached 60%,” Hadeedi said. “I urge the United Nations to offer food assistance to the people of Mosul because of living standards in the city have collapsed.”