What's ICRC's view on a possible conflict in Iraq?
ICRC hopes that war can be averted, because of the serious impact this could have on the civilian population, already gravely weakened by the effects of previous conflicts and of years of sanctions. ICRC's concerns are strictly humanitarian, in line with its mandate under the Geneva Conventions, and it refrains from commenting on the arguments for or against a conflict.
ICRC has been working permanently in Iraq for more than 20 years. It continues to make a major contribution to the functioning of water and sanitation systems, and to the health service.
Working throughout Iraq, and with operational bases throughout the Middle East, ICRC is also helping in efforts to establish the fate of people unaccounted for from earlier conflicts.
As in any situation of potential crisis, ICRC has made preparations to help the wounded and sick, to provide emergency water supplies and assist the internally displaced. Essential stocks have been readied and coordination mechanisms put in place with ICRC's partners in the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.