Iraq

Iraq: NCCI's Weekly Highlight 09 Nov 2006

Attachments

DON'T FORGET HUMANITARIAN PRINCIPLES

In May 2003, NGOs in Iraq decided to create NCCI. Their will was to have an independent body to coordinate emergencies and the whole humanitarian work while the Iraqi Government was inexistent at that time and the UN were not back in the country yet. In addition this creation was certainly the first S.O.S. sent by the humanitarian community to defend certain principles of the humanitarian work such as independence, neutrality, impartiality, do no harm, etc. Indeed, 2,5 years before the official launching of PRTs in Iraq, the line was already blurred by militaries who were trying to occupy the humanitarian field, while faith and political-backed organisations were experiencing other agendas as well.

Since this strong original struggle, NGOs regularly called to protect the Humanitarian Operational Space, to defend the International Humanitarian and Human Rights Laws or to support the main victims of the war, the Iraqi Civilians. Months after months, the Humanitarian Operational Space was continuously distorted and the security situation was drastically decreasing, pushing most of the International Aid workers to entrench themselves in safer places, and making the life almost impossible for Iraqis in the central area. While Iraq became the most important killing zone for aid workers worldwide (at least 79 deaths to date), NGOs started to work more and more through low profile and adapted approaches, and started to handover their advocacy and communication to NCCI. It was the only solution for them to continue to be able to deliver emergency goods to vulnerable.

NCCI is calling on regular basis all groups and organisations involved in Iraq to work on a inclusive strategy enabling to find a path to peace and to support Iraqi vulnerable on an effective manner.

In January 06, we initiated an association of European organisations to advocate on the Iraq humanitarian situation. Today, NCCI is part of this group of NGOs calling ECHO (European Commission Humanitarian Office), which is not involved in Iraq anymore, and all organisations that are not present yet to reconsider their position according to the Iraq humanitarian crisis.

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