Humanitarian conditions in Iraq improving

24 April 2003
Aid agencies reported on 24 April that there have been a number of positive developments in humanitarian conditions across Iraq.

The UK's Department for International Development (DfID) said that the UK's humanitarian operations centre has announced that the whole of the British military's area of responsibility in Basra and Maysan provinces has been declared to have a security environment 'permissive' for humanitarian operations.

Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF), following assessments in 10 cities, reported that it has not found 'huge' medical needs. 'There are of course still significant problems, particularly now in Baghdad, where there is still no big hospital fully functioning,' MSF reports.

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) expects Iraq to have a substantial wheat harvest this year. The UN Food & Agriculture Organisation estimates that 1.7 million tonnes will be harvested between April and June. WFP has brought 35,000 tonnes of food into Iraq since the start of the conflict. Of this, 28,000 tonnes entered over the border from Turkey.

The UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA) reports that six international UN staff returned to northern Iraq on 23 April. This is the first permanent redeployment since their evacuation from Iraq on 19 March. A further 28 staff are due to enter northern Iraq soon.

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