Iraqi Instability Hampering Aid Efforts

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AMMAN, Jordan, APRIL 10, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Isolated cases of looting of humanitarian aid were being reported in Iraq as Saddam Hussein's regime crumbles.



Faiq Bourachi, director of Caritas-Iraq, recommended that Caritas International's network "act with calm and clarity, avoiding hasty decisions," until the situation in the country is clarified.

Bourachi today said the organization of aid was not easy as "news indicates that the situation in Baghdad is bordering on collapse and the status of the Iraqi administration is still not clear."

He echoed the news of isolated cases of groups of citizens looting the U.N. warehouses of humanitarian aid on the outskirts of Baghdad.

According to reports from the Caritas-Iraq office in Amman, emergency medical services in Baghdad are overwhelmed. Basic medicinal items, such as antibiotics and anesthetics, are in short supply. Water supplies in Baghdad and Basra have been disrupted.

Civilians are still on the move in the north. U.N. figures as of Wednesday listed 266,018 displaced people, 70% of them in Dohuk, 20% in Erbil, and the remaining 10% in Sulaimaniya.

Caritas networks in the north are providing food, clothes and basic medical services to the displaced people. Caritas-Iraq has 14 centers around the country for aid distribution.