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Red Cross, Red Crescent join hands to assist in Iraq


May 2003 - National Red Cross and Red Crescent societies from the region and beyond are contributing to the ICRC-led Movement response to meet the most pressing needs of the people of Iraq.

  Baghdad. Security concerns will remain an issue for the general public and humanitarian activities    
  © ICRC/T. Gassmann  
Ref. 19h    
  Baghdad. ICRC and Iraqi Red Crescent facilitate family contact via satellite phone.    
  © Federation/Thorkell Thorkelsson  
Ref. p9697    
  One of 70 wheelchairs donated by the Bahrain Red Crescent Society.    
  © ICRC /F. de Sury.  
Ref. IQ-E-00086    

Although full-scale hostilities ended before the middle of April, continuing insecurity and the absence of a functioning administration have considerably slowed down large-scale coordinated assistance activities by humanitarian organizations, including the Red Cross and Red Crescent. Nonetheless, as of mid-May more than 20 national societies* had contributed in one way or another, some of them carrying out " quick impact activities " . These included:

  • The Kuwaiti Red Crescent developed numerous projects in Basra: water, food and medicine distributions, satellite communications, all with the help of Iraqi Red Crescent volunteers. They also organized an important operation to re-establish family link.

  • The Syrian Red Crescent dispatched medical equipment and fuel to Basra, and sent staff to Baghdad to assist a hospital there.

  • The Bahreini Red Crescent has been distributing clothing to men, women and children. Two trucks brought medical equipment to Basra. It also provided 70 wheel chairs through the ICRC delegation in Koweit.

 * By mid-may inputs of various kinds had been received by ICRC from the national societies of Bahrain, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Iran, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Morroco, Norway, Qatar, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America. Various national societies have also made cash contributions.