DfID reports up to 450,000 Iraqi civilians on the move in northern Iraq

24 March 2003
Some 300,000-450,000 people are reported to have moved within northern Iraq as a result of hostilities, but most are being absorbed into local communities, the UK's Department for International Development (DfID) said in a statement issued on 23 March.

'Few refugees have been confirmed at Iraq's borders, but preparations continue apace for camps,' the statement added. It said that small numbers of foreign nationals continue to be transported home by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) through Jordan and Syria.

DFID said water supplies to Basra were cut off for around 24 hours over the weekend but have been partially restored by Red Cross / Red Crescent teams. Civil affairs teams from coalition forces are carrying out humanitarian needs assessments in southern Iraq. DfID has deployed five humanitarian and civil/military advisers to Kuwait, one adviser to Tehran and one to Amman. A liaison officer will be based at the UN Humanitarian Information Centre in Cyprus from today.

DfID said International Development Secretary Clare Short had completed meetings in Washington and New York about humanitarian and reconstruction efforts. 'We are determined to deliver on our commitment to a UN mandate for the reconstruction of Iraq, as without it Iraq's longer-term prospects will be bleak,' the statement quoted her as saying.

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