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Iraq: ICRC activities January to March 2007

10-04-2007 Operational Update

The deteriorating humanitarian situation in Iraq continues to affect the entire population with civilians bearing the brunt of the relentless violence and insecurity that is disrupting lives and livelihoods in many parts of the country.

ICRC activities are currently organized by expatriate teams based in Iraq or neighbouring Jordan working in close cooperation with the Iraqi Red crescent Society (IRCS). The ICRC is progressively expanding its presence in the country and boosting its emergency-response capacity in various fields in Iraq to help meet growing humanitarian needs.

 Examples of emergency assistance  

    

From January to March 2007

  • 19,800 people in Diyala, 40,200 people in Salahadin and 3,150 people in Anbar received food aid distributed by the IRCS.

  • 470 destitute Palestinian refugees on the border between Iraq and Syria received 200 buckets, 500 sleeping mats, 58 tents, 200 kitchen sets and 200 hygienic kits directly from the ICRC.

  • 1,200 displaced people in Khanaqin received 230 mattresses, 345 blankets, 230 hygiene kits, 2,760 ready-to-eat meals and 230 food parcels directly from the ICRC.

  • 24,000 people in Falluja and surrounding areas received 4,000 hygiene kits, 160,000 ready-to-eat meals, 2,000 kitchen sets, 8,000 buckets and 16,000 sleeping mats distributed by an Iraqi non-governmental organization (NGO).

  • 7,200 people in Heet region and surrounding areas received 2,400 buckets, 750 sleeping mats, 1,200 hygiene parcels, 1,200 food parcels and 31,200 ready-to-eat meals distributed by an Iraqi NGO.
     

 Agricultural/veterinary/micro-economic initiatives  

    

Since January 2007

    

  • In close cooperation with the Basra Agricultural Directorate, the ICRC agreed to supply 400 metric tonnes of fertilizer to the 2,000 most vulnerable farmers in Basra.

  • The ICRC decided to assist 7,300 subsistence farmer families, IDPs and residents in Ninawa province and in Telkeef and Shekan north of Mosul with improved seeds and fertilizer over a period from January to October 2007 to boost their production and income.

 Preventing acute emergencies  

From January to March 2007

  • 2 major rehabilitation projects were completed: the Tikrit water plant – 15,400 m3/hr (it increased by 25% the production capacity and improved the water quality) and the Al-Najaf boosting station.

  • A total of 631,000 people benefited from completed water and sanitation infrastructure projects.

 Addressing acute emergencies  

    

Water trucking is a frequent way of addressing acute emergencies. Since the beginning of 2007, the ICRC has been trucking daily 120,000 litres of water to two hospitals in Baghdad and to 3,000 IDPs living in Sadr City. Similar operations are ongoing for several groups of IDPs in the north of the country.

From January to March 2007, 13,000 people, mainly IDPs, have benefited from water trucking.

 Primary health care centres  

    

Due to the collapse of public health services, the ICRC increased its efforts to reach vulnerable families and affected communities.

In total, from January to March 2007, eight primary health care centres (catchment population: more than 2.9 million people serving some 1,450 patients per day) had their sanitation facilities and vital electro-mechanical components repaired or upgraded).

 Clarifying the fate of the missing  

    

From January to March 2007

  • new tracing requests were registered for 59 people; 13 people located, 2,740 still being sought in relation to the present situation in Iraq only

  • 9 people issued with ICRC travel documents

  • 3 Iranian nationals repatriated under ICRC auspices after being interviewed to ensure that they wished to go home of their own free will

 Support to medico-legal infrastructures  

    

From January to March 2007

    

  • 5,000 body bags dispatched to 8 Medico-Legal Units in the provinces were identified as most in need (ongoing)

  • 50 mortuary trolleys were delivered to the MLI

  • disinfectant, stretchers, surgical gloves and surgical equipment were delivered to the Baghdad MLI

 People deprived of their freedom  

    

 Internment facilities controlled by the multinational forces in Iraq  

    

The ICRC continued to visit thousands of people held in various places of internment controlled by the multinational forces in Iraq in order to monitor their treatment and internment conditions and to make recommendations to the detaining authorities for corrective action where necessary.

Between January and March 2007, 16,475 detainees were visited, 1,137 of them monitored individually. There were 6 visits to 4 places of detention/internment controlled by the US and UK contingents of the multinational forces in Iraq.

 Detention/internment facilities controlled by the Iraqi authorities  

A dialogue is currently taking place between the Iraqi authorities and the ICRC to conclude an agreement regulating procedures for ICRC detention visits to all people detained whether or not in relation to the armed conflict.

 Detention/internment facilities under the authority of the Kurdish regional government  

Detainees were visited in the three northern provinces in detention centres under the authority of the Kurdish regional authorities. Such visits have been taking place since 1992.

Between January and March 2007, 1,300 detainees were visited, 613 monitored individually. There were 6 visits to 6 places of detention.

 Detainee family links and family visits programme  

    

People deprived of their freedom and visited by the ICRC were able to restore and maintain contact with their families in Iraq or abroad through Red Cross messages collected and distributed with the help of the IRCS.

    

From January to March 2007

  • over 3,600 RCMs were collected from and 5,400 distributed to people held by the multinational forces in Iraq

  • over 560 RCMs were collected from and 440 distributed to detainees held under the control of the Kurdish regional authorities in northern Iraq

  • over 2,900 people held in Camp Bucca and in the Shaiba facility benefited from the ICRC family visits programme

 Emergency health care  

    

From January to March 2007

  • 2 major rehabilitation centres and construction projects for hospitals (total: 1,378 beds) completed in Ninawa province

  • 14 war-wounded kits, 35 oxygen regulators and 20 dressing kits distributed to hospitals which treated over 800 wounded

 IRCS first-aid programme  

To meet the need for emergency medical services to supplement public facilities, the ICRC is assisting the IRCS in setting up a national first-aid programme for war-wounded.

 Assistance to the physically disabled  

    

From J anuary to February 2007

  • 2,374 patients received services at ICRC-supported physical rehabilitation centres

  • 344 prostheses, 557 orthoses, 91 crutches and 6 wheelchairs were supplied