The ICRC has been present in Iraq since the outbreak of the Iran-Iraq war
in 1980. Protection activities focus on people detained by Iraqi
authorities, including Kurdistan regional authorities. ICRC delegates
visit tens of thousands of detainees throughout the country, talk to them
in private, and provide the relevant authorities with confidential
feedback on the detaineesâ€™ treatment and living conditions.
The visits also enable detainees to keep in touch with their loved ones,
through Red Cross Messages, distributed in cooperation with the Iraqi Red
Crescent Society to families in Iraq and abroad. The ICRC, in close
cooperation with the respective governments, is also following the fate of
thousands of missing persons as a result of the several conflicts in the
region, and provides support and expertise in forensic medicine as well as
in conducting joint excavation missions.
Assistance activities, which focus on remote and neglected areas prone to
violence, involve helping IDPs and residents restore their livelihood,
with a focus on households headed by women, supporting primary health care
centres and physical rehabilitation centres through the provision of
material and training of medical personal and repairing and upgrading
water, sanitation, health and detention infrastructure.
The ICRC also continues to promote IHL among weapon bearers and to support
the Iraqi Red Crescent Society in building up its capacities in the field
of First Aid and Disaster Management.
In a nutshell, in 2012 the ICRC:
- further extended its operational out-reach into remote areas prone to
violence in the centre of the country and the disputed territories;
- conducted 231 visits to 109 places of detention holding approximately
38'161 detainees under Iraqi central or Kurdish authorities;
- contributed to progress made in clarifying the fate of people missing as
a result of the 1990-91 Gulf War and the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War,
facilitating seven joint operations to exhume and transfer human remains;
- assisted 11'857 women heading household, amputees and farmer in rural
areas prone to violence (with 57'513 dependents) with livelihood support
projects, cash assistance and income-generating projects;
- improved access to water, physical rehabilitation and primary health
care for 1'844'522 residents, IDPs and returnees through the
rehabilitation of water and health infrastructure, material support,
training and coaching;
- assisted 36'264 residents, refugees, IDPs and returnees with emergency
assistance (food, non-food and water).
- continued to provide, along with the International Federation,
institutional support to the Iraqi Red Crescent.