IRC Prepares for Emergency Response in Iraq Region Amid Threat of War
The International Rescue Committee is readying four emergency response teams for dispatch to the Middle East in preparation for a widening humanitarian crisis that a war against Iraq would undoubtedly bring.
The teams comprise an emergency coordinator and health, water, sanitation and logistics experts.
"We are deeply concerned that a war with Iraq will lead to humanitarian catastrophe, causing massive displacement and putting vast numbers of civilians in grave danger, said George Rupp, the IRC's president. "While we hope that any action that will cause more suffering to the people in this region can be avoided, it is imperative that we mobilize resources to prepare for critical emergency assistance."
The IRC has established a new office in Amman, Jordan to serve as its regional base and supply center to provide assistance for people affected by conflict in Iraq. The office is procuring supplies, looking at supply routes and delivery systems for relief, and assessing scenarios for population movements.
The IRC is also preparing to provide support to local groups to deliver primary health care, water and sanitation assistance to vulnerable populations already displaced inside Iraq.
The organization has also joined an Amman-based consortium of international aid organizations that will facilitate joint contingency planning for a potential war in Iraq, support to regional operations and information sharing.