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Overview of ICRC activities in OIC member states in 2003

15-10-2003 Report

Report presented by the ICRC to the Islamic summit conference, Putrajaya, Malaysia, October 2003: overview of ICRC operations in OIC (Organization of the Islamic Conference) member states, focusing in particular on protection and assistance activities.



  Contents:   Foreword    |   Notes    |   Abbreviations    |      
   The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is both at the origin and one of the components of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and as such is committed to a number of fundamental principles. These principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality, independence, universality, voluntary service and unity guide the ICRC and the Movement as a whole in their daily activities and direct them towards any suffering population, in any part of the world, regardless of nationality, religion, politics etc.

Through its different activities, the ICRC gives assistance, extends protection, and as the guardian of international humanitarian law, seeks to ensure that this law is known and repected.

A quarter of the ICRC's operational field budget is spent in the Middle East and North Africa


The humanitarian and impartial nature of the ICRC, together with common interests and concerns, inspired the ICRC and the OIC to initiate relations and to develop cooperation, which was formalised by the signing of an agreement in 1994. This agreement fosters consultation, information exchange and better reciprocal knowledge.

It is to further develop this mutual knowledge that the ICRC is submitting this report that contains a presentation of ICRC operations in OIC member States , focusing in particular on protection and assistance activities. Other ICRC programme areas, such as communication and cooperation with national societies, are also touched upon.

The ICRC has eleven delegations in the Middle East and North Africa , all presented in the report, which in 2003 accounted for one quarter of the ICRC's total field budget. In 2003, the two main operations were once more in Iraq and the Occupied and the Autonomous Territories and Israel, where the ICRC runs large-scale assistance programmes for the Palestinian civilian population, in addition to its longstanding protection activities (visits to detainees; monitoring respect for IHL).

In Iraq the ICRC has remained present and active throughout the conflict, providing medical and food assistance, conducting emergency repairs on water systems and hospitals, and visiting prisoners of war and civilian internees. In the other Middle Eastern contexts, the ICRC is active visiting detainees, restoring family links, and working to resolve humanitarian issues left over from past wars, especially in the Gulf. The delegation in Cairo coordinates dissemination and promotion activities for the whole region.

This report also covers eight of the ICRC's 21 delegations in Africa , which as a region accounts for well over one third of the ICRC's field budget. In 2003, activities focused around responding to the effects of conflict in Somalia, Guinea, Sudan and Côte d'Ivoire, providing medical assistance for war-wounded, carrying out water and sanitation work, supplying food and non-food aid and restoring family links. In a number of contexts the ICRC visits detainees to monitor their treatment and conditions of detention.

Finally, the report looks at six of the ICRC's 13 delegations in Asia and the Pacific , which account for one fifth of the ICRC's field budget. In 2003, the main operations were in Afghanistan / Pakistan, where, despite the current security situation, the ICRC works to protect detainees and runs assistance programmes in the areas of water supply and food and agricultural aid; and in Indonesia, where the ICRC works to protect and assist victims of violence, especially internally displaced people and returnees, as well as visiting detainees.

The regional delegations in Kuala Lumpur, New Delhi and Tashkent play a key role in promoting international humanitarian law and supporting development of national societies.

The ICRC is committed to assist and protect suffering people t hroughout the world and, as highlighted in this report, a good part of its activities are carried out in OIC member states. It is therefore important that the ICRC receives from them the political and material support needed.



 Notes :  

- Names of countries and regions used here are intended to facilitate reference and have no political significance; for practical reasons, preference has been given to short forms.


 List of abbreviations :  

 ICRC : International Committee of the Red Cross

 IDP : Internally Displaced Person

 IHL : International Humanitarian Law

 NGO : Non-Governmental Organization

 OIC : Organization of the Islamic Conference

 POW : Prisoner of War

 UXO : Unexploded Ordnance

Preliminary note


Preliminary note 

The following section contains short presentations of the ICRC's activities in OIC member States, ordered alphabetically by geographical region. Special attention is drawn to protection and assistance activities, although other programmes are also touched upon. In many cases, the ICRC is present with an operational delegation in an OIC member State. In other cases, OIC States are covered from an ICRC regional delegation, which may not be located in an OIC country, but has nonetheless been included in this report. Within the text below, non-member States are indicated between square brackets.

As a further explanation, ICRC operational delegations cover one country and carry out mainly protection, assistance or preventive activities for the benefit of victims – civilians, people deprived of their freedom, the wounded and the sick – of a confirmed or emerging situation of violence.

Regional delegations, meanwhile, normally cover several countries and concentrate on developing contacts with the authorities, the armed forces and civil society in all the countries covered, with the aim of promoting and disseminating international humanitarian law (IHL), and cooperating with National Societies. Regional delegations also respond to emergencies caused by any outbreaks of violence or tension in the countries they cover and to needs created by active or sporadic conflicts or by tension that can affect a region in times of peace.

Middle East and North Africa - operational delegations


Middle East and North Africa - operational delegations 
  Page contents:   Algeria    |   Egypt    |   Iran    |   Iraq    |   The Occupied and the Autonomous Territories and Israel    |   Jordan    |   Lebanon    |   Syria    |   Yemen    
   1. Algeria  

The ICRC in Algeria carries out visits to people held in different places of detention, including, since 2002, people remanded in custody in police stations and gendarmeries.   It has developed extensive cooperation with the Algerian Red Crescent Society, and supports its work to provide assistance, in particular psycho-social, to women and children victims of violence, and to strengthen its national first-aid network.   The ICRC furthermore provides technical and financial support to a prosthetic/orthotic production unit in Algiers. The promotion of IHL among Algerian civil society, the authorities and the armed forces is an ongoing activity.    


 2. Egypt  

The ICRC has been in Egypt since the beginning of the Second World War, and has had a permanent presence since 1967. It concentrates on promoting knowledge of IHL and its incorporation into national legislation in Egypt and, in particular through its cooperation with the Arab League, throughout the Arab world. The ICRC supports training in IHL organized by the relevant authorities for the armed and security forces and for civilian and military magistrates, and promotes the inclusion of IHL and related subjects in university and school curricula, in cooperation with the Egyptian Red Crescent Society (ERCS). Regional media communication is also carr ied out from Cairo, where the ICRC's first Arabic web site will be officially launched in October 2003.

In the first half of 2003, the ICRC issued over 1,700 travel documents to refugees in Egypt seeking resettlement in third countries. It enabled Egyptian civilians in Iraq and Egyptian detainees in Guantanamo Bay to restore contact with their families in Egypt. Assistance was provided via the ERCS to people blocked by Israeli security clearance delays on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border post with Gaza.


 3. Iran  

The ICRC has been working in Iran since 1978, with some interruptions. Since the 1988 cease-fire agreed between Iran and Iraq, the ICRC has urged the two parties, in accordance with IHL, to release and repatriate all prisoners of war (POWs), to make progress in identifying and repatriating the bodies of those killed in the war, and to resolve the problem of the missing in action. The ICRC holds private interviews with the POWs it registered during the Iran-Iraq war so as to ascertain that they do indeed wish to return home, and supervises their repatriation. In the first half of 2003, the ICRC repatriated 941 Iraqi POWs in this way, as well as the remains of 45 Iranian and 86 Iraqi soldiers killed during the Iran-Iraq war.

As part of its regional relief operation for Iraq and in conjunction with the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS), the ICRC set up two logistical supply bases in western Iran in early 2003, which organized several cross-border convoys in support of emergency relief operations in Iraq. The ICRC also organized the exchange of Red Cross messages, " Safe and Well " messages and ICRC satellite phone communications between Iraqi refugees in Iran and their families in Iraq. It helped people anxious for family news to register their names on the ICRC website set up to handle tracing requests related to the Iraq crisis.

 4. Iraq  

The ICRC has been present in Iraq since the outbreak of the Iran-Iraq war in 1980.   In recent years, it placed particular emphasis on repairing water, sanitation and health-care infrastructure impaired during that conflict and the 1990-1991 Gulf war, and as a consequence of international trade sanctions.    


In 2003, priority was assigned to the emergency humanitarian needs arising from the full-fledged international armed conflict in Iraq which began in March. Since then, the ICRC has visited more than 8,000 POWs, interned civilians and detainees held by coalition forces in 19 places of detention in Iraq. It has collected and distributed over 21,000 Red Cross messages for families in Iraq and throughout the world, and registered more than 9,500 people on the ICRC family-news website.

As regards its assistance programmes, in the first half of 2003 the ICRC: delivered substantial quantities of medical equipment and supplies to key urban hospitals treating the war-wounded; conducted emergency repair work on water systems in 62 hospitals and other medical centres caring for thousands of war casualties and other patients; repaired water and sewage-treatment plants and pumping stations in 49 locations serving millions of people throughout the country; maintained power, installed water-storage facilities and delivered thousands of litres of water to key surgical hospitals treating the war-wounded; installed water-distribution stations and delivered trucked water to poorly served areas of Baghdad and Basra; distributed food and non-food items to hospitals, social institutions, vulnerable groups (e.g. IDPs and minority groups) throughout the country.

Since the end of July 2003, serious security concerns have forced the ICRC to drastically reduce its expatriate presence in Iraq and limit its movements. As a consequence, many of the ICRC's programmes have been reduced. For the immediate future, ICRC operations in Iraq are focusing on key protection activities and life-saving interventions in the fields of health and water/sanitation. The ICRC will continue to monitor the treatment and detention conditions of POWs and detainees/ internees held by the Provisional Coalition Authority and pursue its work to re-establish family links.

 5. The Occupied and the Autonomous Territories and Israel  

The ICRC has been permanently present in this area since the 1967 Middle East war. It works towards ensuring faithful application of and respect for IHL, in particular the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the protection of civilians in times of war and occupation. In the current climate of violence, the ICRC monitors the situation of the Palestinian civilian population, carries out visits to detainees and makes representations to the relevant authorities, both Israeli and Palestinian.

In the first half of 2003, the ICRC monitored the detention conditions and treatment of more than 5,500 Palestinian detainees held in various Israeli places of detention. It provided emergency shelter and household kits to Palestinians whose houses had been demolished and pursued its economic–security programmes, which assist 300,000 people affected by the curfews, closures and other restrictions in the West Bank. In addition, activities were undertaken to enhance the civilian population's access to water and health care. As in previous years, the ICRC facilitated access by medical services, particularly the Palestine Red Crescent Society, to the wounded and the sick in a highly restrictive security environment.

 6. Jordan  

The ICRC has been present in Jordan since the 1967 Middle East war. Its work there largely consists of visiting detainees to monitor their treatment and conditions of detention, tracing on behalf of civilians and foreign detainees to restore family links, and promotion of IHL throughout Jordanian society, in close cooperation with   the   Jordan Red Crescent Society. As in previous years, the ICRC ensured the smooth running of an ambulance service between Jordan and the West Bank for the transfer of emergency medical cases.

In the first half of 2003, the ICRC visited some 500 detainees in 10 places of detention. It restored and/or maintained family contacts for detainees in Iraq, Guantanamo Bay and Afghanistan, through Red Cross messages. From March, the ICRC restored contact between hundreds of families separated by the war in Iraq, and provided regular food and non-food assistance to several hundred persons stranded in no-man's land between Iraq and Jordan. The delegation in Amman provides logis tical support for ICRC relief operations in Iraq and in   the occupied territories and the autonomous territories.

 7. Lebanon  

The ICRC has been present in Lebanon since 1967. Today it focuses on gaining access to and visiting, in accordance with its standard procedures, persons detained by the Lebanese authorities. The plight of numerous persons still missing years after Lebanon's civil war and Israel's 22-year occupation of southern Lebanon is another concern, as is access to the four Israeli nationals captured by Hezbollah. Since the Israeli withdrawal, the ICRC has continued to monitor the situation of civilians living in the former occupied zone. Assistance is provided in specific hardship cases. The ICRC is still the only official channel for Lebanese detained in Israeli prisons, as well as those who took refuge in Israel in the wake of the Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon, to maintain contact with their families in Lebanon.

Spreading knowledge of international humanitarian law and cooperation with the Lebanese Red Cross Society in the area of first aid and mine-awareness are other important aspects of the ICRC’s work.

 8. Syria  

Present in Syria since 1967, the ICRC acts as a neutral in termediary in matters of humanitarian concern for the Syrian inhabitants of the part of the Golan occupied by Israel; they are protected by the Fourth Geneva Convention. In particular, the ICRC facilitates the passage of Syrian nationals, mainly students and pilgrims, who have to cross the area of separation to complete their studies at Syrian universities or perform their religious duties, and it restores and maintains links between family members separated as a result of the conflict with Israel. In the first half of 2003, the ICRC also restored family contact for hundreds of people separated by the war in Iraq, and repatriated 12 Syrian nationals after their release from internment in southern Iraq. In addition, over 400 travel documents were issued to refugees in Syria seeking repatriation or resettlement in third countries

The ICRC provides technical and financial support to a prosthetic/orthotic center for disabled Palestinians run by the Syrian branch of the Palestine Red Crescent Society in Damascus. The delegation also works to spread knowledge of IHL and the fundamental principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, in close cooperation with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.


The ICRC has been working in Yemen since the outbreak of the civil war in 1962. It currently carries out activities for detainees, focusing on their treatment under interrogation and their conditions of detention, with a special emphasis on vulnerable groups such as women and the mentally ill. In 2003, the ICRC promoted medical care and vocational training for female detainees. A second priority is spreading knowledge of IHL and the fundamental principles of the International Red Cro ss and Red Crescent Movement, in cooperation with the Yemen Red Crescent Society, and supporting the national   committee on IHL in promoting the adoption of national measures to implement IHL and its introduction in school and university curricula and in the training of the armed and police forces.

Further important activities are conducted for physically disabled persons. 2003 saw the start of a 3-year teaching and training programme to upgrade the skills of technicians at two orthotic/prosthetic centres in Sana'a and Mukalla and the supply of materials for production of prostheses.

In the field of tracing, in the first half of 2003, over 4,000 Red Cross messages were handled on behalf of Somali refugees, Yemeni families with a relative detained by the United States authorities in Guantanamo or Afghanistan, and civilians, civilian internees and POWs in Iraq.

Middle East - regional delegations


Middle East and North Africa - regional delegations 
  Page contents:   Kuwait    |   Tunis    

 1. Kuwait  regional delegation  

 Covers: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates  


The ICRC’s presence in the region is linked to humanitarian issues still outstanding from the 1991 Gulf War and those arising from the international armed conflict in Iraq in 2003, as well as to issues regarding detention in Kuwait and Qatar.   In addition, the ICRC focuses on communication strategies with a view to promoting IHL and its own role as a neutral intermediary in situations of armed conflict and other situations of violence. Reinforcing cooperation with the National Red Crescent   Societies of the region is another priority.

In the first half of 2003, the ICRC pursued efforts to elucidate the fate of persons unaccounted for since the 1990-1991 Gulf War. It made it possible for people in Gulf countries to restore contact with family members either interned/detained abroad or separated by conflict. It strengthened the National Societies'tracing capacity to enable them to respond to increased needs in this field arising from the war in Iraq. During the height of the conflict in Iraq, the regional delegation served as major support base for ICRC operations in southern Iraq.


 2. Tunis regional delegation  

 Covers: Libya, Mauritania, Morocco/Western Sahara, Tunisia  

The Tunis regional delegation, which has been in operation since 1987, focuses on the humanitarian issues arising from the aftermath of the Western Sahara conflict. In the first nine months of 2003, the ICRC repatriated 343 Moroccan prisoners released by the Polisario Front and visited those still remaining, holding private interviews with over 750 of them. By means of the Red Cross messag e service, links were restored between the prisoners and their families in Morocco, as well as between families in the region and relatives interned in Guantanamo and Afghanistan. The ICRC also pursued efforts to ascertain the fate of combatants missing since the end of the Western Sahara conflict in 1991.

The ICRC further concentrates on promoting knowledge of IHL, its national implementation and its integration into school and university curricula and armed forces training programmes in North Africa. The region's National Societies are essential partners in this process.

Africa - operational delegations


Africa - operational delegations 
  Page contents:   Guinea    |   Somalia    |   Sudan    |   Uganda    
   1. Guinea  

The ICRC has been working in Guinea since 1970, first through its regional delegation in Yaoundé, Cameroon, and then, from 1992, through its regional delegation in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. In 2001, in response to the spread into Guinea of the Liberia and Sierra Leone conflicts and their impact on the population, it set up its operational delegation in Conakry.

Since 2002, the ICRC has stepped up its protection activities in Guinea, focusing on visiting detainees throughout the country and conducting dissemination sessions for the armed and security forces, political authorities, media and the general public. In the first half of 2003, over 3,000 members of the armed and security forces and 2,800 representatives of political authorities and civil society were reached in this way.

The ICRC also assists the authorities concerned in providing medical care for the war-wounded, and cooperates with the National Society to develop the Red Cross tracing network to help restore family links. In the first six months of 2003, over 111,000 IDPs benefited from protection and assistance provided by the ICRC in cooperation with the National Society. During the same period, the ICRC ensured access to safe drinking water for over 140,000 beneficiaries. 169 unaccompanied children were reunited with their families.


 2. Somalia  

The ICRC has maintained a presence in Somalia since 1982, basing its delegation in Nairobi since 1994. It focuses on providing emergency aid in response to the direct effects of conflict, which are frequently compounded by natural disasters. Its activities include medical assistance for the war-wounded, water and sanitation work, and the provision of mainly non-food aid. The ICRC also carries out programmes with a medium-term outlook designed to maintain local coping mechanisms and preserve adequate living conditions for extremely vulnerable populations. Cooperation with the Somali Red Crescent Society completes this range of activities.


In the first half of 2003, the ICRC helped to preserve and/or rebuild the livelihoods of over 100,000 families affected by conflict and/or natural disasters. It carried out a survey of the needs of long-term IDPs in urban centres and, as a result, provided non-food aid for some 12,000 IDPs in Mogadishu and Kismayo. Support was provided to 4 hospitals, 25 health-care posts and 5 cholera-treatment centres, and an assessment was launched of health-care needs and facilities in Somalia. Over the same period, training workshops on first aid, tracing and dissemination were organized for the Somali Red Crescent Society.

 3. Sudan  

The ICRC opened its first office in Khartoum in 1978 in response to the Ethiopian conflict. In 1984, it launched operations relating to Sudan's internal conflict. It focuses on protecting and assisting civilians (IDPs and residents) affected by conflict; providing medical assistance for the war-wounded and support for prosthetic/orthotic centres in Khartoum, Juba and Lokichokio (Kenya); monitoring the living conditions and treatment of people detained in connection with the conflict; disseminating knowledge of IHL to government forces, the Sudan People's Liberation Army and other bearers of weapons; restoring family links between relatives separated by conflict; and cooperation with the Sudanese Red Crescent Society.

In the first half of 2003, the ICRC supported 2 surgical hospitals and 3 prosthetic/orthotic workshops that treated over 2,000 patients (30% war-wounded) and produced 400 prostheses for amputees. It launched a survey on the availability and quality of medical/surgical care in southern Sudan, and provided access to clean water for some 100,000 IDPs and residents affected by conflict. Over the same period, it distributed more than 14,000 Red Cross messages. It facilitated the creation of a Sudanese inter-ministerial committee for the implementation of IHL, and conducted the first advanced IHL course for the police force and the first IHL session for pro-government militia.

 4. Uganda  

The ICRC opened a full-fledged delegation in Uganda in 1997. Prior to that, its activities in the country had been supervised by the regional delegation in Nairobi. Following the killing of six ICRC staff members in the north east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in April 2001, the ICRC had to suspend activities in its sub-delegations in Uganda. It has since maintained a reduced expatriate presence confined to the capital, Kampala. The ICRC is seeking to obtain a thorough investigation by the Ugandan authorities into the killings. Meanwhile, the ICRC remains informed about the situation in the field. It is monitoring the needs of the population so as to be in a position to respond in the event of a major life-threatening emergency. In the first half of 2003, the ICRC donated essential supplies to 7 health-care facilities and NGOs caring for IDPs and the war-wounded, and made 7 visits to security detainees in 6 prisons. A high level of support was maintained for the Ugandan Red Cross in response to an escalation of armed attacks in the north of the country. For instance, a special course on stress and security management was conducted for 12 senior Ugandan Red Cross staff.

Africa - regional delegations


Africa - regional delegations 
  Page contents:   Abidjan    |   Abuja    |   Dakar    |   Yaoundé    

 1. Abidjan regional delegation  

 Covers: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, [Ghana], Togo  

The ICRC set up its regional delegation in Abidjan in July 1992, primarily to coordinate its activities in response to the conflicts in Liberia and Sierra Leone. It has existed in its present composition since September 2002.

Since the outbreak of the crisis in Côte d'Ivoire in 2002, the activities of the ICRC’s regional delegation in Abidjan have focused on maintaining an operational capacity – namely protection and assistance to victims of the crisis, visits to places of detention and monitoring of the situation in the country -- to be prepared for possible outbreaks of intercommunal violence. In the first seven months of 2003, the ICRC: provided regular support to over 110 health centres; organized more than 70 convoys to carry humanitarian aid across front lines; reunited 12 unaccompanied children with their families; and provided 4,000 people with food aid on a monthly basis, in conjunction with the Red Cross Society of Côte d'Ivoire.

In all the countries covered by the regional delegation, the ICRC supports the efforts of the authorities and armed and security forces to implement IHL and raises awareness among the armed forces of the

need to respect IHL rules.



 2. Abuja regional delegation  

 Covers: Nigeria  


The ICRC was active in Nigeria during the Biafran war (1966–70). In 1988, a headquarters agreement signed with Nigeria established the legal status of the Lagos regional delegation. In March 2003, the ICRC moved its delegation headquarters from Lagos to Abuja where it maintains an operational capacity to provide protection and assistance to people displaced by sporadic outbreaks of violence.

The ICRC works in close cooperation with the Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS), helping it to strengthen its preparedness to respond to emergency situations anywhere in Nigeria. In 2003, support has been provided to the NRCS in carrying out its sanitation programme in some 100 prisons. Preventive activities, such as promoting awareness and implementation of IHL among political authorities, armed forces, police and members of civil society, form the other main components of the ICRC delegation's work. 500 members of the armed forces were thus reached in the first half of 2003. The ICRC also continues to support the " Alternative to Violence " project delegated to the British and German Red Cross Societies and carried out in cooperation with the NRCS.



 3. Dakar regional delegation  

 Covers: [Cape Verde], Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger and Senegal  

Opened in May 1991, the Dakar regional delegation initially covered ICRC activities in Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Senegal and Gambia. Later, its responsibilities were extended to include Mali (1993) and Niger (1994).

The Dakar regional delegation focuses on promoting IHL among the armed forces and other bearers of weapons and encouraging authorities throughout the region to implement IHL. It also supports the activities of the National Societies, assists victims of violence such as displaced people in need, and visits detainees, where necessary providing them with material assistance.

In the first half of 2003, the ICRC conducted initial visits to detainees in Guinea-Bissau held since December 2002 in connection with an attempted coup d'état, and received authorization to visit detainees of ICRC concern held in Niger. Food was distributed to over 16,000 IDPs in Senegal.


 4. Yaoundé regional delegation  

 Covers: Cameroon, Central African Republic has observer status within the OIC , Chad, [Equatorial Guinea], Gabon, [Sao Tome and Principe]  

The Yaoundé regional delegation was set up in 1992, although the ICRC has been working in the region since 1972. It responds to humanitarian needs arising from internal armed conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR) and in Chad. It also works on behalf of detainees in C ameroon, the CAR, Chad and Equatorial Guinea, promotes IHL and its implementation, and supports the development of National Societies throughout the region.

In the first half of 2003, the ICRC repatriated 10 CAR POWs from Chad. It provided medical supplies and household items for victims of fighting in the CAR. Following the coup in March, the ICRC carried out an extensive assessment of needs in major towns in the CAR. In Chad, over the same period, the ICRC paid for over 60 mine victims to be fitted with artificial limbs, and produced radio programmes to encourage more war-disabled people to use the free service. An advanced IHL course was held for some 30 instructors from the Chadian military and security forces.

Asia and the Pacific - operational delegations


Asia and the Pacific - operational delegations 
  Page contents:   Afghanistan    |   Indonesia    |   Pakistan    


   1. Afghanistan  

The ICRC has worked in Afghanistan since 1987, although it started activities on the Pakistani side of the border in 1981. Its current operations endeavour to: protect detainees; restore family links; prevent mine/UXO injuries and assist the disabled; assist hospitals; improve water supply and sanitation systems in urban areas; provide food and agricultural aid to remote rural people recovering from conflict and drought; promote respect for IHL among the authorities and members of armed forces; and strengthen the Afghan Red Crescent Society .  


In 2003, after the death of an international staff member, the ICRC introduced new security measures and adapted programmes, maintaining all activities in the northern areas but cutting back some activities in other areas where security risks were identified, particularly in the south, the east and Ghor province.


 2. Indonesia  

The ICRC first established a presence in Indonesia in 1979. Throughout the archipelago, the ICRC has works closely with the Indonesian Red Cross Society (Palang Merah Indonesia -- PMI) to protect and assist victims of violence, especially displaced and resident populations whose livelihood or family contacts have been disrupted by fighting. In the first half of 2003, the ICRC assisted approximately 3,130 internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returnees with non-food assistance, improving their living conditions and ability to re-establish their homes. It intensified its existing health assistance programme by supporting the Ministry of Health (medici ne, hygiene products, logistical support, and technical assistance) and the PMI in treating an estimated 10% of the Aceh population infected with scabies.

The ICRC visits detainees held in connection with armed conflict and other situations of violence or unrest. In the first half of 2003, it visited 18 detention facilities, under the authority of the police, army or the Ministry of Justice, and provided assistance.

The delegation promotes IHL implementation, supports its inclusion in training programmes for armed forces and police personnel, and develops activities with universities to foster the study of IHL in academic circles.


 3. Pakistan  

The ICRC visits Pakistani nationals initially arrested in Afghanistan in connection with the recent conflict, and detained in Pakistan after transfer; it also helps families to maintain contact with detained relatives. In addition, the ICRC works to protect and assist resident and displaced populations in areas affected by fighting along the Line of Control, promotes IHL and humanitarian principles through military, civilian and religious institutions, and supports the health, tracing and dissemination activities of the Pakistan Red Crescent Society. Its logistics centre in Peshawar backs up ICRC operations in Afghanistan.

Asia and the Pacific - regional delegations


Asia and the Pacific - regional delegations 
  Page contents:   Kuala Lumpur    |   New Delhi    |   Tashkent    

 1. Kuala Lumpur regional delegation  

 Covers: Brunei Darussalam, [Japan], Malaysia and [Singapore]  


The ICRC first operated in Kuala Lumpur from 1972 until 1983, and opened a delegation in June 2001. In the countries it covers, this regional delegation works to promote the ratification and implementation of humanitarian treaties, to encourage incorporation of IHL into military training, and to support development of the National Societies. The delegation also works to heighten both government and National Society awareness of and support for ICRC operations worldwide and to develop broader cooperation with National Societies able to take an active part in its operational activities.



 2. New Delhi regional delegation  

 Covers: Bangladesh, [Bhutan, India], Maldives  

Since 1982, the New Delhi regional delegation has worked to achieve broader implementation of IHL and to promote respect for humanitarian rules and principles in institutions such as the armed forces, universities and the media. It supports the development of the Indian Red Cross Society and the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society. The ICRC visits people in India detained in connection with events in Jammu and Kashmir, and visits detainees in Bhutan. In 2003, it initiated a dialogue on humanitarian issues with representatives of the new Jammu and Kashmir state government.


 3. Tashkent regional delegation  

 Covers: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan  

The ICRC has worked in Central Asia since 1992. It promotes the ratification of humanitarian treaties and their incorporation into national legislation, and fosters the teaching of IHL and humanitarian principles in military training programmes and civilian educational institutions. It cooperates with the Central Asian National Societies, supporting them in boosting their operational capacity, for instance in developing mine-awareness programmes. In Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, the ICRC visits detainees falling within its mandate and carries out operations in the Fergana Valley. In Tajikistan, it supports prosthetic/orthotic services for amputees.

Europe - operational delegations


Europe - operational delegations 



The ICRC has been working in Azerbaijan, in the context of the Nagorny Karabakh conflict, since 1992. It focuses on the issue of missing persons, the problems of people held in connection with the conflict, and vulnerable detainees.

In the first half of 2003, the ICRC facilitated the repatriation to Azerbaijan of 3 people detained in relation to the conflict. A first medical seminar was organized for prison doctors in Azerbaijan. The ICRC also supports the authorities in bringing the spread of tuberculosis in prisons under control , placing emphasis on health education and information, in addition to supplying drugs and laboratory materials and giving water and sanitation support. Also in the medical field, the ICRC assists the health authorities in making limb-fitting services available across the country.

Promotion of national implementation of IHL and its integration into the training of the armed and security forces and university and school curricula constitute another ICRC programme.