Iraq

Northwest Medical Teams moves office in Iraq, prepares volunteers for response

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With increasing security concerns in Iraq, Northwest Medical Teams' staff in the northern region of the country are moving their offices, including records, equipment and supplies, to an undisclosed rural location. The humanitarian relief organization is also briefing volunteer medical professionals in preparation for deployment to the region and beginning emergency preparedness processes.
"We're on standby if the need arises for medical volunteers," says Joe DiCarlo, disaster response manager at Northwest Medical Teams. "Our staff physician in Iraq reports that the situation is tense and the area is now preparing for conflict. Our workers are in a safe zone, but there is a great deal of uncertainty."

Northwest Medical Teams supports a staff of 24 international workers who administer a children's health care program in northern Iraq. The staff provides medical care in partnership with local doctors and teaches medical and dental procedures to other medical providers.

Northwest Medical Teams is one of only five U.S. agencies recently to receive a grant from the U.S. Department of State to support a child health project in northern Iraq, and one of a handful of groups currently working in the country. It was also one of the first to receive a license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control to provide direct aid in Iraq.