Iraq + 1 more

Iraq: Latest news from ICRC staff in the field, 21 Mar 2003

Originally published
Situation relatively calm, some vehicles and people in the streets, some shops open.

Usual daily contact with Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Activities planned today:

Unload and store Norwegian Red Cross-donated cargo, which arrived recently: blankets, jerry cans and bladder tanks, etc. The trucks are part of the contingency planning and had been held up in Jordan. Four trucks are still at the Jordanian border.

Continue check on hospitals to assess the wounded and possible needs for material.

Final day of preparation to equip Medical City General Hospital (about 2,500 beds) with a water purification unit, which will provide about 60% of its drinking water needs.

Meet Iraqi Red Crescent leaders to identify humanitarian needs at branches elsewhere in the country.

Additional information on important activities on 20 March:

Temporary water purification units and storage tanks set up: if needed, these can be used as of 21 March to provide water to poorly served parts of Baghdad. Preparation of bladder tanks, pumps and sites for emergency water distribution if and when needed.

Delivery of 21,000 plastic one-litre bags of water to 9 nutritional rehabilitation centres in Baghdad hospitals. To be used as emergency stock.


ICRC team evaluating situation in hospitals: ICRC in a position to provide assistance if needed.

Activities and possible needs discussed with authorities.

Northern Iraq (Erbil):

Situation quiet (Kurdish new year); many people at home.

Situation being monitored closely in Sulaymaniyah, Dohuk and Diyanah, but no particular population movements noticed.

Contact with authorities in Erbil to exchange information on population movements and general humanitarian situation.

Jordan (20 March):

About 400 nationals of third countries have arrived in the Ruweishid camp run by the Federation/Jordanian Red Crescent, which takes care of their needs.

ICRC has set up a tracing mechanism in the camp: 72 people used ICRC satellite phones to re-establish links with relatives in Sudan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Egypt, etc.

ICRC distributed limited assistance - stoves and fuel - to about 25 persons stranded in no-man's land along the Jordan-Iraq border. If needed, people in this situation will also be supplied with water, food and other relief goods over the next few days.

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