Since the beginning of 2015, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has provided food rations and other essential items to more than half a million people in Iraq. Vital medical supplies have also been distributed to 45 health facilities across the country. The delivery of these urgent relief supplies to victims of the ongoing conflict was made amid a number of challenges. Yet, thousands more still need urgent help.

Dominik Stillhart, director of operations at the ICRC fears the conflict in Iraq isn’t going to end soon. During a five-day visit to Iraq, he witnessed first-hand the complex nature of the conflict and the suffering of the victims.

“| visited a camp for internally displaced people (IDPs) on the border between Baghdad and Anbar province. The people have nothing but the clothes they stand in. They live in tents. There are no toilets, no health facilities and virtually no water. There is certainly no education for the children. And they are living under a baking hot sun.”



Dominik Stillhart visits a camp for the displaced on the outskirts of Baghdad

Dominik Stillhart visits a camp for the displaced on the outskirts of Baghdad



In his article, published in the Independent, it becomes clear there will be no quick resolution to the rapidly deteriorating situation. This grim reality is why the ICRC has stepped up its appeal for more funds to provide aid for nearly 900,000 people.

“…to start solving the problems, we have to first start caring for the people. All the people.” Stillhart urges.

With the conflict going unabated, unimpeded access is key to reaching victims is very important.

“It is crucial to have unhampered access to help all those in need,” said the head of the ICRC delegation in Iraq Patrick Youssef. “All parties must provide our humanitarian convoys with safe and rapid access so that food, water, and medical supplies can reach the people without delay.”

ICRC reminds all parties to the conflict of their obligations, under international humanitarian law, to protect the lives of civilians, as well as to protect medical staff and health facilities.