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Caritas continues its presence in Iraq

The international Caritas agency is continuing its presence in Iraq, despite a deterioration in the relationship between the coalition forces and certain groups in Iraq in recent weeks.

Military conflict between the coalition forces and the Sunni fighters in Falluja and other areas of Iraq has escalated since then, with the bombardment of areas of Falluja and the injury of 1500 and the death of more than 700 civilians.

Caritas reports that Coalition forces have blocked all roads to the city and access to hospitals is limited. It says hospitals are suffering from a lack of medicines, medical supplies, disposables and sterilizing materials. Some operations are being done without anesthesia for the lack of anesthetics.

With the support of the international federation, Caritas Iraq's response has been to prepare four vans of emergency drugs and medical supplies, to go to Falluja, A'adamiya and Baquba.

"The ordinary people of Iraq continue to need our support, despite the worsening situation and we will continue our work in easing their suffering , caused by circumstances over which they have no control," said Mr Jack de Groot, National Director of Caritas Australia.

Caritas continues its presence in Iraq (Caritas Australia 18/4/04)

Pope appeals for hostages' release (CNN 18/4/04)
Cardinal: Vatican ready to mediate in Iraq ( 18/4/04)
Vatican ready to mediate in Iraq? (Catholic World News 16/4/04)
Vatican calls hostage killing 'inhumane act,' decries rising violence (Catholic News Service 16/4/04)
Papal nuncio gives grim report from Iraq (CathNews 16/4/04)

19 Apr 2004