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New Red Cross reports on humanitarian situation in Iraq

[JURIST] Tuesday's field reports from the International Committee of the Red Cross [advocacy website] on the humanitarian situation in Iraq are now available online:

In general:

- Contacts are continuing with both sides concerning access to prisoners of war (POWs).


- The ICRC doctor has checked on the situation in several hospitals, which report 60 wounded, including seven seriously injured children, and eight deaths following last night's attacks.... Water and power supplies are working.

Baghdad (From yesterday, 24 March)

- The ICRC doctor visited Al-Yarmouk general teaching hospital and Al-Kindi general hospital. According to authorities at the former, 50 wounded people were admitted during the night from 23 to 24 March and in the morning of 24 March. They also speak of six persons having being killed. The ICRC delivered 120 blankets to the hospitals. No specific information is available from Al-Kindi except that 35 people had been admitted. Since 23 March, the Iraqi Red Crescent Society has set up 14 first-aid posts throughout the city. They are manned round the clock by two volunteers with first-aid equipment. Efforts to prepare hospitals and health centres for a possible cut in the water supply are continuing....


- ICRC technicians have reached the Wafa-Al-Quaid water plant north of Basra that provides most of the city's water. The ICRC hopes that as soon as possible, preferably today, it will be able to carry out the necessary repairs to ensure that the plant can produce water again. However, for the network to become operational there needs to be sufficient pressure in the system, and this can take a while. Most of Basra has been without water since Friday, 21 March, because of a power cut. On Saturday the ICRC and local technicians found a temporary solution to restore water to about 30-40% of the city. The water provided is drinkable but not of very high quality. However, media reports indicate that many citizens have had to start taking water directly from rivers. The ICRC therefore remains concerned about a possible public health crisis. The back-up generators only offer a temporary solution. During the next few days, the ICRC hopes to be able to facilitate access for local technicians who may be able to assess the damage to high-power voltage lines and repair it.
Read the full text of the ICRC reports.

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