Iraq: Preparation in case of conflict

Federation News 03/03
With the world's attention focused on the threat of conflict in Iraq, the Red Cross Red Crescent has stepped up efforts to ensure it is prepared for any resulting humanitarian crisis. Relief and medical supplies are being stocked in Iraq, while neighbouring Red Crescent Societies in Iran, Jordan, Syria, and Turkey are preparing for possible population movements out of Iraq. The Iraqi Red Crescent, with its 3,000 trained volunteers, is preparing to assist up to 75,000 people. The Syrian Red Crescent has contingency plans for 5,000 people. With regional Federation stocks, this could rise to 25,000. The Jordanian Red Crescent, supported by the Federation, is preparing for 25,000. Using its large disaster response stocks, the Iranian Red Crescent is mobilizing relief goods to assist initially more than 100,000 people, with the possibility of helping many more. The Turkish Red Crescent can assist up to 80,000 people from its natural disaster stocks while the Kuwait Red Crescent is assessing possible needs in coordination with its government. The Federation is increasing non-food emergency stocks in its regional warehouse in Amman and has access to relief items for 20,000 people in Abu Dhabi. Emergency response units in water and sanitation, logistics and telecommunications are also on standby, along with primary health care and referral hospital units. Priority is also being given to training Red Crescent volunteers and staff in camp management, disaster response and relief coordination, with workshops having recently been conducted in Syria, Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Kuwait. In the meantime, the Federation continues to support Iraqi Red Crescent activities, such as the rehabilitation of primary health care centres and water treatment plants, the running of low-cost clinics and its involvement in polio and measles vaccination campaigns.