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Iraq and Neighbouring Countries: Humanitarian Crisis Emergency Appeal No. 8/03 Operations Update No. 1

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Appeal
Source
Posted
Originally published

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This Ops Update is intended for reporting on emergency appeals.
The Federation’s mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world’s largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in 178 countries. For more information: www.ifrc.org

Appeal No. 8/03

Launched on 20 March 2003 for CHF 111,039,000 (USD 79,776,929 or EUR 75,481,631) for 9 months for 305,000 beneficiaries.

Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) Allocated: CHF 75,000 in the pre-positioning phase

Beneficiaries: 305,000

Operations Update No. 01 ;

Period covered: 20 to 22 March 2003 ;

Next Update 02 expected 24 March 2003

IN BRIEF

Appeal coverage: 3.5%

Related Annual Appeals: 01.54/2002; 01.55/2002;01.88/2003; 01.93/2003

Outstanding needs: CHF 107,001,302

Summary: The Jordanian Red Crescent has registered its first cross-border arrivals from the conflict and are now providing them with relief. Other Red Crescent national societies in the region are on standby in case of population movements in their areas. The situation remains fluid but with International Federation support, the Red Crescent societies in Iran, Turkey, Syria, Jordan and Kuwait are well prepared for several eventualities. Donors are urged to offer strong support to this appeal.

Situation w

The conflict between the coalition forces and Iraq started early on 20 March 2003 with a cruise missile attack on Baghdad. While the situation in neighbouring countries (Iran, Turkey, Syria and Jordan) stayed relatively calm, a number of air raid warnings have been heard in Kuwait.

The situation is evolving and there remains considerable uncertainty regarding the direction, duration, size and impact of military action and the resulting humanitarian crisis.

The official political position of the governments in the neighbouring countries still varies from the statements that “no Iraqis will be allowed to cross the border” to open border policy. However, the Red Crescent national societies in all countries - including Iran, Turkey, Syria, Jordan and Kuwait - are on stand by and ready for action in case of a large influx of the Iraqi population.

The overall goal is to alleviate the suffering of the affected population by supporting national societies in countries neighbouring Iraq in their efforts to effectively deliver assistance to the people of Iraq, particularly in the event of a large population movement to Iran, Turkey, Syria, Jordan and Kuwait.

Operational developments and Red Cross and Red Crescent action w

The national societies in the neighbouring countries supported by the International Federation have been monitoring the situation close to all border areas.

Iran

In Iran, no cross-border movements have taken place but around 3,000 people have reportedly gathered close to the Iraqi/Iranian border in the south (east of Basra) and in the west (Kurdestan province). Two entry points have been defined (Shalamshed and Khosravi) and 12 potential entry points have been identified. The provinces have airports that can receive direct airlifts of relief goods, especially Ahwaz and Kermanshah, with a smaller airport at Ilam. According to BAFIA, (Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants Affairs - a part of the Ministry of Interior), Kermanshah province is expected to be one of the main areas for refugee influx (more than 500,000 in 1990/91).

Preparations of infrastructure of camp sites are continuing and, at the moment, the priority has been given to the following sites: Khuzestan province: (Yast-e-Now for 50,000 persons and Daroshyah for 50,000 people); Ilam province: Chamshari (20,000 persons); Kermanshah province (Khosravi for 30,000). In total, these camps have the capacity for 150,000 persons. The preparations consist not only of the activities usual for a building site but also of mine sweeping. All camps are in the range of 2 to 10 km from the Iraqi/Iranian border. Water for the camps will be primarily provided by trucking from nearby towns. Depending on further developments, piping might be considered.

There are approx. 2,200 trained relief staff in the above mentioned provinces consisting of 66 teams, each with 33 relief workers.

As part of an overall preparedness plan, the participating national societies and the International Federation have developed a contingency plan that includes possible deployment of emergency response units (ERUs) to support the activities of the receiving national societies and better provide assistance to the anticipated influx of refugees. In order to better determine the needs for such a deployment in support of the response capacities in the receiving national societies, assessment teams in support to ERU preparedness and planning have been created. They have been tasked to determine areas where potential deployment of these ERUs could be most needed or effective.

A mission to Iran is already completed by the British RC, including the analysis of logistics, health and water/sanitation and will be further supported by a three member team comprising the Norwegian, Japanese and Austrian Red Cross members. The team will be working in close co-operation with the representatives of the Iranian Red Crescent.

Turkey

No border crossing registered into Turkey from the northern part of Iraq.

Syria

In Syria, the government support to a possible refugee influx has been re-examined and the official position shifted from assisting only the third country nationals traversing the country to assistance to refugees and TCNs. The Syrian Red Crescent branches in Deir ez Zor, Al Bukamal, Palmyra and Al Hassakeh have been asked to monitor the situation at the border and report any inflow at the respective crossing points into Syria (Yaroubieh, Albukamal and Tanf).

It is not completely clear yet whether the possible population movement towards Syria will be contained inside Iraq or allowed into a secure and designated border line area. A decision has been made by the government that Al Batma will no longer be the selected location for the Syrian Red Crescent camp. Lately, the following locations for refugees crossing into Syria have been mentioned: Al Hol, (20,000); Al Bukamal-Qishmi (20,000) and Tanf (20,000). Indications are that the Syrian Red Crescent will manage the camp near Tanf, but possibly both. Separate areas in the vicinity of the 3 camps will be allocated for the temporary shelter of TCNs in transit through Syria.

The Syrian Red Crescent supported by the International Federation is ready to receive the initial influx of 5,000 persons with the stocks already pre-positioned in the national society warehouse close to Damascus. It also has the potential to go up to 25,000 with the goods stocked in the region. Disaster management and water/sanitation training courses have been recently held for a core number of the national society volunteers. Another disaster management workshop gathering 20 volunteers form 10 branches is scheduled to begin in Damascus today.

Jordan

The national Red Crescent society has registered the first arrivals. Strong winds in the border area with Iraq have not prevented arrivals. Around 100 volunteers are providing assistance in the field of relief, water and sanitation, administration, registration and security.

Reportedly, the first group of around 474 (41 children below 5 years of age) third country nationals, mainly Sudanese, Somali, Chadian and Egyptian crossed the border on 20 March and has so far been accommodated in the camp B run by the Jordanian Red Crescent. The national society is also providing first aid and medical assistance to third country nationals during their transit from the border to the camp and again from the camp to ports of departure. The government of Jordan has given 72 hours stay permit to third country nationals and a group of 174 left the camp yesterday to the airport with buses provided by the International Organisation of Migration (IOM). A group of 11 is scheduled to leave today while the rest is expected to stay at least another night.

Around 200 tents are being used for the third country nationals at the moment. For the first three days they have been provided with dry food but the soup kitchen will be operation from tomorrow, providing hot meals for the camp population. The Jordanian Red Crescent has signed Memoranda of Understanding with the Evangelical Church and Tearfund in this respect.

The national society has also provided some relief items including tents to some 5-6 families stranded in border line area due to the lack of proper documents.

As regards the distribution of relief items, each family or tent is receiving:

  • 1 mattress per person
  • 1 pillow per person
  • 2 blankets per person
  • 1 towel per person
  • 1 kerosene heater per tent
  • 1 kerosene lamp per tent
  • 1 jerry can per tent
  • 1 bar of soap per person.

All three water tanks are full and the trucking from camp A (Hachemite Charity Organisation) is running smoothly. Around 100 latrines and 20 water points have been completed in the camp. A health clinic for medical check up of third country nationals will be fully operational as of today.

The ICRC is well established in the camp B doing tracing and family reunification, as required.

Kuwait

In Kuwait, the national society feels pressure to prepare convoys of food parcels to move on a moment’s notice to Safwan and Um Qasr, in Iraq. In order to comply with the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement principles and methodologies, the national society has been advised by the ICRC in Kuwait to deliver food stuffs to the ICRC warehouse in Basra when that town is declared secure thereby allowing for distribution later in an appropriate fashion.

Procurement and stocks

For the list of stocks per country, please refer to the attached Mobilisation table.

All non-food items procured and pre-positioned in the region are now in place in the following locations:

Warehouse locations
Iran
Turkey
Syria
Jordan
Kuwait
Dubai
Iranian RC
warehouses in the
province of
Khuzestan
Turkish RC
warehouse in
Etimesgut
Syrian RC
warehouse
outside
Damascus,
1,000 sq m
Jordanian RC
warehouse in
Amman, 800 sq
metres
A small
warehouse
adjacent to the
national society
headquarters.
Jebel Ali free
zone warehouse
with stocks put
on hold for the
Federation
Iranian RC
warehouses in the
province of Ilam
Turkish RC
warehouse in
Maltepe
Jordanian RC
warehouse in
Rwashed, 500
cubic metres
(rubhall)
Iranian RC
warehouses in the
province of
Kermanshah
Turkish RC
warehouse in
Elazig
Federation
warehouse in
Zarqa free zone
near Amman,
2,000 cubic
metres
Turkish RC
warehouse in
Erzurum
Turkish RC
warehouse in
Manisa
Turkish RC
warehouse in
Afyon
Turkish RC
warehouse in
Adana
Turkish RC
warehouse in B.
Karistiran

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