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Iraq: Daily bulletin - 10 April 2003

10-04-2003 Operational Update

Latest reports from ICRC staff in Baghdad, Basra and Arbil. Covering 9 and 10 April.

 BAGHDAD (10 April)

    

The delegation is in mourning today, following the tragic death of our colleague, Vatche Arslanian (see press releases of 09.04.03 on this site). Nonetheless, the ICRC is continuing to carry out some life-saving activities. However, bearing in mind the still volatile security situation movements in the city will be limited.

In particular, our colleagues plan to visit the Medical City hospital complex (650 beds), which is still experiencing water shortages. They will visit another two hospitals, including one where several foreign journalists are being treated. The ICRC will also try to fill up public water tanks in areas of the capital such as Saddam City, currently not connected to the water-supply network.

 BASRA (9 April)

Looting and disruption to public order eventually began to subside in the city on Tuesday. Since Sunday not only private property but also public infrastructure such as offices, schools, water treatment plants and hospitals had been targeted. In general, ICRC staff and vehicles were not targeted.

The water supply to parts of Basra and reportedly also to most towns in southern Iraq remains disrupted, power cuts remain frequent and medical facilities are finding it difficult to function.

The ICRC delivered two catheter sets to Basra teaching hospital. Water trucking to different hospitals in the city continued, as did the installation of temporary water tanks donated by UNICEF. The ICRC also supported repair work at the Bradayia water-treatment plant and on the high-tension power line supplying the Wafa'Al-Qaed raw water-pumping station that serves most of the city.

The United Nations'World Food Programme has agreed to temporarily allow the ICRC to use three of its warehouses in Basra. Furthermore, a second large warehouse has been rented in Kuwait to store additional relief goods.

    

 ARBIL (9/10 April)

On 10 April, the ICRC's Arbil office will observe a half-day of mourning in memory of our late colleague Vatche Arslanian.

 Medical situation  

Hospitals in the Dohuk area are currently relying on generators for electricity following an interruption to the power supply from Mosul.

In Dohuk governorate, the ICRC provided non-food assistance to about 150 vulnerable people in the village of Telan. The ICRC also assisted the Emergency Ministry of Health hospital in Dohuk with basic first-aid items, dressing sets, disinfectants, a suture set and gauze to support the treatment of about 30 war-wounded patients. Another medical facility, Aqra hospital, was provided with similar surgical materials as well as 50 blankets.