Red Cross Raises Iraq Concerns

Violence Remains, Basic Needs of Iraqis Remain Unmet

by Jason Ditz, March 19, 2009

As Iraqis reflected on the six year anniversary of the American invasion, Red Cross officials today warned that the country remains in a ‘stagnant humanitarian climate.’ Red Cross president Jakob Kellenberger says “further work is required to ensure that the basic needs of Iraqis are met.”

The security situation in Iraq has indeed improved, of course, from the catastrophic levels of the past few years, yet innocent civilians are still killed in the sectarian violence every day. Millions remain displaced at home and abroad.

And even beyond the violence, the realities of every day life in Iraq are grim. Despite throwing billions of dollars at the problem, Baghdad’s tap water remains undrinkable much of the time. That’s not entirely independent of the security problems in the nation, of course: the Baghdad city water department is forming its own security forces to try to protect engineers. Yet this too is a sign that while American officials trumpet their so-called successes in the nation, it has yielded little in the way of normalcy for the average Iraqi.

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