As a consequence of the yesterday attack on Iraq, population movement inside Iraq toward the Iranian borders is reported. As of 13.00 today, no case of entry into the Iranian territory is reported. However, according to the government authorities, in case of a serious humanitarian situation where the life of displaced are in threat, the borders will be opened to the Iraqi displaced people. The situation inside Iraq in the coming hours will determine the possibility of Iraqi displaced influx to Iranian borders.
Action so far:
The Iranian Red Crescent as the national responsible organization for relief and settlement of the Iraqi displaced and asylum seekers in Iran, has been preparing a comprehensive contingency plan in cooperation with the government of Iran (Ministry of Interior), International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, UNHCR and other governmental and non-governmental organizations. Based on the contingency plan and in coordination with the government, the IRCS has planned 10 camps and identified the necessary sites along the border with Iraq. The IRCS benefiting from its valuable experience of the last Iraqi refuges operation in 1991, and based on its nation-wide disaster management structure consisting of 300 branches, and 70,000 experienced relief workers is very well prepared to commence the operation and set up its 10 camps. The initial capacity of the IRCS camps is up to 200,000, and can be increased if required.
The strong capacity of the IRCS enables the organization to carry out a large-scale relief operation in favor of displaced people along the border with Iraq from north to south. But the relief stocks of the IRCS is primarily allocated for the natural disasters in Iran, and the Society will need assistance from national and international resources. So far negotiations have been held with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and UNHCR as well as other international organizations to encourage international response to the crisis and further support the IRCS in implementing relief operation and camp services for Iraqi displaced and asylum seekers.