Finnish Red Cross sending aid workers and supplies hospitals in Iraq

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The Red Cross is supporting two hospitals by sending three nurses and medical supplies from Finland to Iraq. The hospitals are being used to treat people wounded in the fighting in Mosul.

"The local hospitals in Mosul can no longer provide effective treatment to all the people who have been wounded in the battles. Care capacity is at its peak, and triage and patient transport are lagging behind. Hospitals are also suffering from a lack of basic supplies and medication", says Head of International Disaster Aid Andreas von Weissenberg.

The battles in the city of Mosul began in October and have resulted in tens of thousands of wounded so far, approximately half of whom are civilians. In addition to this, 200,000 citizens have been forced to flee their homes.

The local hospitals are receiving aid from the Red Cross, for example with opening a new operating room and treating patients closer to the combat zone. In addition to aid workers, the hospitals employ local care personnel.

Finnish Red Cross coordinating a major international operation

The project participants include the national Red Cross societies of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Germany, Canada, Japan and Hong Kong.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been supporting the hospitals located near Mosul since October 2016.

"The ICRC made the Finnish Red Cross responsible for coordinating efforts, as we have extensive expertise and preparedness for war surgery and medical aid", says von Weissenberg.

Up to ten million people are currently in need of humanitarian aid in Iraq. In response, the Finnish Red Cross will be sending more surgeons and nurses to Iraq in the coming months.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland is supporting the operation with EUR 500,000, with the Finnish Red Cross' Disaster Relief Fund providing approximately EUR 100,000 in additional funding.