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Caritas says it will stay in Iraq

The international Caritas organisation will continue its active presence in Iraq, despite the partial pull-out of the UN from the country.

"Caritas will continue to be there well after the events of the last year have stopped making headlines, in the same way that Caritas has done in other disaster zones," said Mr Jack de Groot, National Director of Caritas Australia.

As of this week, the UN is providing humanitarian assistance to the country mainly from Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. The security situation in Iraq remains serious after two explosions at the UN offices and the deaths of numbers of UN workers in each incident, including the head of the UN operation in Iraq, Mr Sergio Vieria de Mello last month.

The crime rate in Iraq is growing, including looting and robbery involving shooting. A major hospital in Baghdad reports that the number of casualties attended in the emergency unit as a result of these incidents averages 150 per day.

In the time period since the war in Iraq ended, Caritas has begun rehabilitation of primary health care centres and the training of Red Crescent staff in the treatment of malnourished children. It is also continuing to support local organisations as they rebuild infrastructure in Basrah and other areas in Southern Iraq.

Caritas Australia

Security risks in Iraq frustrating Caritas relief effort (30/5/03)
Caritas Australia | Iraq Appeal | Iraq photos
Caritas Internationalis | Iraq
Caritas Aotearoa/New Zealand | Iraq
CAFOD (England & Wales) | Focus on Iraq | Fears for safety of aid workers in Iraq following UN bombing (19/8/03)
Catholic Relief Services | Iraq | Iraq Humanitarian Response

24 Sep 2003