Humanitarian situation in Iraq alarming

The international Red Cross expresses alarm about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Iraq in the report entitled "Iraq -- the ever-worsening crisis.

Humanitarian situation in Iraq alarming
The suffering of Iraqi civilians is ever worsening and there is no sign yet that a security crackdown in Baghdad is bringing relief, the international Red Cross said on Wednesday.

Hospitals were stretched to the limit by daily mass casualties, malnutrition was on the rise and power shortages were becoming more frequent around the country, the relief agency said.

"The suffering that Iraqi men, women and children are enduring today is unbearable and unacceptable," said Pierre Kraehenbuehl, director of operations for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

He told journalists there was no indication yet that the clampdown in Baghdad, launched in February by Iraqi and U.S.-led coalition forces, was improving the situation of civilians.

"We are not seeing a stabilizing effect yet," said the official, whose Swiss-based organization is one of the few humanitarian groups to have foreign staff in Iraq.

All parties to the conflict, including coalition forces, needed to do more to ensure that the lives of ordinary people were spared because that was their obligation under international humanitarian law, he added.

Entitled "Iraq -- the ever-worsening crisis," it "expresses alarm about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Iraq."
One of the key jobs of the ICRC is to visit detainees, and the number in custody has been growing as well, Kraehenbuehl said.

"The number of people arrested or interned by the multinational forces has increased by 40 percent since early 2006. The number of people held by the Iraqi authorities has also increased significantly."

The ICRC regularly visits people held by the multinational forces, and has seen 16,500 since January. Last year some 32,000 detainees were visited by the neutral agency, which also has access to those held by the Kurdish regional government. The ICRC has yet to reach agreement with the Iraqi authorities on visiting their detainees.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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