Socialist Worker

A daily struggle to survive in Iraq

Issue No. 2047

Life in Iraq is steadily becoming worse, according to a new report released by the International Committee of The Red Cross (ICRC), and is affecting, directly or indirectly, all Iraqis.”

The report, Civilians Without Protection, details the growing misery of life under occupation – where random violence is forcing people to cower in their homes and growing unemployment is leaving many families destitute.

“Healthcare facilities are stretched to the limit as they struggle to cope with mass casualties day-in, day-out,” the ICRC reports.

“Many sick and injured people do not go to hospital because it’s too dangerous, and the patients and medical staff in those facilities are frequently threatened or targeted.

“Food shortages have been reported in several areas, malnutrition has increased over the past year.

“The vastly inadequate water, sewage and electricity infrastructure is presenting a risk to public health.”

The report paints a grim picture for the future with much of the country in ruins:

“Much of Iraq’s vital infrastructure is in a poor state of repair owing to lack of maintenance and because security constraints have impeded repair work.

“Power shortages are growing worse throughout the country, including northern areas, owing largely to the failure to carry out maintenance and to increase generation capacity.

“Fuel shortages affecting power stations and acts of sabotage are further aggravating the crisis.

“As a result, water treatment plants, primary healthcare centres and hospitals rely mainly on back up generators, which often break down owing to excess usage or fall victim to the chronic fuel shortages.”

The report concludes that, “The plight of Iraqi civilians is a daily reminder of the fact that there has long been a failure to respect their lives and dignity.”

The ICRC report is available at www.icrc.org


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