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What does the ICRC think of the idea of humanitarian corridors to supply aid to victims of the Iraq war? How does it organize the delivery of aid?

04-04-2003 FAQ

Humanitarian corridors, by definition, are limited in time and in geographical scope, and are thus not an ideal solution for the ICRC, which must be able to work whenever necessary to provide protection and assistance to people affected by war.

In addition, such corridors have to be negotiated with the belligerents, and this can be a difficult exercise. The ICRC is not therefore promoting this concept for its own operations, although humanitarian corridors might become necessary for other humanitarian organizations.

A very important condition for the delivery of aid is the trust and acceptance of all belligerents, who must understand that the ICRC is an impartial and independent humanitarian organization with a mandate to provide protection and assistance to victims of war on both sides. The ICRC builds up its relationships with the authorities over time. As it has been present in Iraq for 23 years without interruption, the Iraqi authorities know the ICRC and its role extremely well from previous wars. The coalition is also familiar with the ICRC and its role from a variety of war situations. In line with its normal practice, the ICRC will be notifying the belligerents of its location and movements, and will work in an absolutely transparent manner with all parties concerned.