Approximately a million people are trapped in Mosul, Iraq by a battle being fought around them.

This is roughly equal to the population of Birmingham.

Having lived under siege for two years, thousands face shortages of food, water and medical care. Some have already started fleeing to safety while others may hold out at home until the fighting ends.

Almost all will need help as soon as we can reach them.

The British Red Cross is part of the worldwide Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Working with our partners, we are ready to help people as soon as they escape Mosul – or the fighting ends.

Here is a quick look at the massive numbers behind the operation that’s already in place to support people fleeing Mosul:

  • 800,000 – the number of people the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is able to help as they leave their homes in the coming months.

A girl sitting on the ground in a desert landscape eats bread with women sitting behind her

  • 170,000 – the number of people who have already fled the towns of Shirqat and Al Qayyarah, near Mosul, since April. Around 5,000 left home in the past week alone. We are helping thousands with food, water, shelter and medical care.

Women sit on the ground near Red Crescent food parcels as volunteers speak to them

  • 500,000 – this many people fled Mosul when the fighting started in June 2014. Many are still getting humanitarian support from the Red Cross and Red Crescent.

A boy leans against a stack of boxes with a bag of food under his arm and a blanket next to his head

  • 300,000 – the number of people the ICRC can help immediately with food, blankets, essentials such as soap and toothpaste, and cooking sets with pots and utensils to last one month.
  • 500,000 – the number who the ICRC are able to help with supplies as they flee the fighting.


Looking down at a scene of people waiting near a stack of Red Cross/Red Crescent food parcels in Iraq

  • 100,000 – this number of families (half a million people) can get help from our partners the Iraqi Red Crescent for up to three months, including medical and health services.

Red Cross workers hand a bag of food from a stack of bags to a waiting colleague

  • 600,000 – the number of people who will get hot meals from three to four field kitchens run by the Iraqi Red Crescent.
  • 32,000 – the loaves of bread that will be baked daily by nine Red Crescent bakeries. If needed, 12 bakeries could be up and running producing 42,000 loaves of bread daily.

Looking down on Iraqi Red Crescent volunteers lifting a large box of bread next to a fence

  • 120,000 – the food parcels that the Red Crescent has ready to give to families who have fled their homes. Another 80,000 will arrive in the next few days.
  • 120,000 – containers for clean water, 45,000 stoves, 5,000 mattresses, 28,800 tarpaulins and 1,800 heaters – all this Red Crescent stock is available to use immediately if needed.

Iraqi Red Crescent volunteers place food parcels and other supplies in rows on the ground

  • 12,000 – the number of first aid kits ready to use to treat ill or wounded children and adults.
  • 50 – the number of patients who could be helped by each of the ICRC’s war-wounded kits that hold medical supplies, drugs, and bandages.
  • 11 – hospitals and health centres that will receive the kits to prepare for an expected influx of patients.

People stand outside a van as a man hands them medicine and others in the van speak to each other

  • Eight – the ambulances on standby with trained volunteer crews ready to provide emergency medical assistance. Three more can be mobilised if needed.
  • 10,000 – the patients who will be able to be treated by the health facilities with supplies and support from ICRC.

A Red Cross health worker examines a baby held in its mother's arms as other women look on

  • One – the only functioning operating theatre is in a hospital 44 kilometres away from Mosul. The ICRC will deploy a surgeon and nurse to train more staff and increase the number of patients who can be treated.

A father holds his smiling young son outside Erbil, Iraq

  • £300,000 – the amount the British Red Cross contributed to the Mosul operation. This will cover the costs of feeding over 7,500 families – more than 45,000 people – for a month.
  • All – donations to our Iraq Crisis Appeal will go towards helping people caught in one of the biggest humanitarian crises of our time. Please help.