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[casi] Int. Comm. Red Cross - Human Cost of Renewed Conflict Could Be Disastrous



Below are select quotes from the International Committee of the Red Cross
(ICRC) regarding economic sanctions on Iraq, Iraqi civilians'
vulnerabilities, and a potential war's consequences for Iraqi civilians.
The ICRC has been present in Iraq since Iraq invaded Iran in 1980.  "Since
mid-1999, the organization has placed particular emphasis on assistance
activities to help the civilian population, which faces a growing struggle
for survival."

ICRC Iraq Page:
http://www.icrc.org/Web/Eng/siteeng0.nsf/htmlall/iraq?OpenDocument

Source: International Committee of the Red Cross, "What is the ICRC Position
Concerning the War Looming on Iraq?", 21 February 2003,
http://www.icrc.org/Web/Eng/siteeng0.nsf/iwpList322/D8482D9515D838EBC1256CD4005B6B3A

Excerpt:

[begin]

For the past two decades, Iraqis have been suffering from the impact of two
wars and of UN sanctions. Standards of living in Iraq are getting ever
worse. The country's infrastructure is deteriorating and most of the
essential needs of the population such as clean water, food and drugs are
hardly covered. The majority of Iraq's people depend largely on food aid
distributions and other humanitarian assistance to make ends meet.

This extremely vulnerable population has few resources to enable it to cope
with another armed conflict. The human cost of renewed conflict could
therefore be disastrous.

[end]

Source: International Committee of the Red Cross, "Spotlight: Decades of
Helping in Iraq", 14 February 2003,
http://www.icrc.org/Web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/iwpList322/06F814257D6F6B65C1256CCD00531211

Excerpt:

[begin]
Since 1991 international trade sanctions have had grave consequences for the
Iraqi economy and have led to an overall deterioration of the basic
infrastructure of the country. The "Oil for Food" programme introduced by UN
Resolution 986 in 1995 has not prevented the collapse of the health system
and of other essential infrastructure such as the water supply, which
together pose one of the gravest threats to the health and well being of the
civilian population.

While the ICRC has done everything possible to repair the damage and restore
at least basic services, it is conscious that aid alone is not enough to put
the country to rights.

[end]

Source: International Committee of the Red Cross, "The ICRC in Iraq 
Fighting Despair and Disintegration", 24 December 2002,
http://www.icrc.org/Web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/iwpList322/E59B9579322207AB41256C9900411B81

Excerpt:

[begin]

Public infrastructure in Iraq continues to disintegrate after years of
neglect, due to a lack of funds for maintenance and repair and a shortage of
spare parts and of qualified staff.

[end]

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