Iraq

Church building in Baghdad suffers damage

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Geneva, March 23, 2003 - The Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) representative in Baghdad, Edward Esho, earlier reported that the Chaldean Catholic church building in the city had suffered some damage as a result of the bombardment of Baghdad on Friday evening. Esho, who spoke to the MECC representative in Amman, Jordan, Edmond Adam, on the phone, said that no one had been injured. Adam said that Esho reported that the church itself had not been a target, but that the damage occurred due to a 'huge explosion' nearby.
MECC is the local member of the global alliance Action by Churches Together (ACT) International - one of several ACT members responding to the crisis in the region brought on by military action against Iraq. The Chaldean Catholic Church has a long-standing partnership and ecumenical relationship with the other churches and MECC in Iraq.

ACT member, Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) reports that three additional water purification units (WPUs) have arrived Amman, awaiting transportation to Iraq. 3 extra water pumps and 1 generator of 10KW have also been purchased in Amman and will be shipped with the WPUs to Iraq when possible. Water supply is generally a problem in Iraq - a situation likely to deteriorate as the military assault on Iraq continues.

The ACT regional coordinator for the Middle East, Eszter Németh said that there has been no mass movement of people to the shelters and relief centres set up in churches and some mosques in Baghdad. About 52 such shelters are however ready and stocked with relief items, should people need to seek refuge.

ACT member Turkey ACT (TACT) also reported that so far, no refugees had come to the Turkish border.