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Iraq: facts and figures 2012

31-12-2012 Field Newsletter

Over the past year, the Iraqi population continued to carry the humanitarian burden of decades of conflict and ongoing violence. Access to basic necessities, such as clean water and proper health care, remained a challenge for many Iraqis, especially in rural and violence-prone areas. In addition, thousands of families across the country are still trying to find out what happened to their missing relatives.

In 2012, the ICRC extended its presence in areas most affected by the past and present violence, notably in the disputed territories and in central Iraq, increasing its proximity to Iraqis in need of assistance and broadening the scope of its humanitarian activities. It assisted vulnerable people and communities, in particular women heading households, persons living with a disability, needy farmers, and internally displaced people. It focused on strengthening health and physical rehabilitation services, improving access to clean water and responding to humanitarian emergencies. Supporting the Iraqi authorities in their efforts to clarify the fate of the missing continued to be a priority for the ICRC, as was the monitoring of the conditions in which detainees are being held and the treatment they receive. The ICRC remained committed to preventing further suffering by promoting respect for international humanitarian law among decision makers and weapon bearers. It strengthened its cooperation with the Iraqi Red Crescent Society, notably in enabling Iraqis to restore or maintain contact with family members, particularly with detained relatives.

In 2013, the ICRC will pursue its humanitarian activities in behalf of the Iraqi population, as it has been doing continuously since the outbreak of the Iran-Iraq war in 1980. To maintain the ability to do so, it will remain in dialogue with all relevant stakeholders in the country. It will also keep on giving voice to and assisting the people most in need without distinction on any but humanitarian grounds.

The organization works from its delegation in Baghdad and its 11 field offices in Baghdad, Basra, Dohuk, Erbil, Khanaqin, Kirkuk, Mosul, Najaf, Nasiriya, Ramadi and Sulaimaniyah. The ICRC delegation in Iraq employs some 850 staff, including 750 Iraqi nationals.