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Red Cross humanitarian reports from Iraq

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

The water supply has been partly re-established in Basra:

The ICRC estimates that 50 per cent of the city's approximately 1.5 million inhabitants now have access to drinking water. This latest development will also considerably improve the quality of the drinking water available to the people of Basra. Technicians from the Basra Directorate of Water and ICRC engineers managed to start up three out of six back-up generators at Wafa' Al-Qaed pumping station. The station had not been operating since last Friday when electricity was cut off. However, a number of spare parts are still needed before it will be possible to start the three remaining back-up generators. The ICRC and local technicians are continuing their efforts to get the pumping station running normally again.... The repair work at Wafa' Al-Qaed became possible after the ICRC contacted all parties to the conflict in Iraq to obtain security assurances for its staff and the technicians of the Basra water board. The ICRC carried out the work with the full support and cooperation of the parties to the conflict.
Read the full ICRC field report from Basra.

The Red Cross report from Baghdad, covering Tuesday (before the market bombing) summarizes several developments:
General situation: Baghdad was covered by a huge sandstorm that engulfed the whole city.

Contacts with authorities: these continue, on the question of POWs held by Iraq as well as medical and water issues.

Hospital assessments: all hospitals are coping for the time being but are concerned about a sudden mass increase in the number of war-wounded. ICRC is trying to help them prepare for such an eventuality.
Read the complete text of the ICRC field report for Baghdad (also covering Erbil in the north).

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