CAFOD partners help wounded Iraqi civilians

 CAFOD partner Caritas Iraq has been treating injured civilians in the streets of Baghdad and transporting the seriously wounded to local hospitals. In a life saving operation staff from the Caritas Iraq health centres have been providing assistance both to the injured and their families and are issuing first aid kits and medical supplies to local schools and anyone in need. While in Basra in the South of Iraq medical supplies provided by Caritas Iraq have been used to treat almost 400 people, mostly women and children who were injured in the bombing at the weekend. It is reported that a boy of eight was among the injured. CAFOD staff have joined two emergency response teams from the Catholic worldwide network Caritas Internationalis which have flown out to the region to support the humanitarian effort. One team is now working at the Caritas Iraq headquarters in Jordan while the other will be based in Kuwait City ready to support relief work in Basra. CAFOD's Emergencies Officer, Alistair Dutton, who is in Kuwait City, said: "We are increasingly concerned about the humanitarian situation in Basra. The town has been cut off for three days now. We fear that water and electricity supplies have been cut in the town. We can only imagine what the conditions are like after days of heavy fighting, mortars and shelling. It is likely that Basra will be the first area that aid agencies will be able to reach in Iraq. We want to get there as soon as we can." CAFOD is one of the few British agencies working on the ground in Iraq and is operating from 14 health centres, which are located throughout the country in and around Baghdad, Basra, Kirkuk, Qarakoush, and Mosul. Besides working with the injured Caritas Iraq is also providing help and support to thousands of people who have been made homeless by the fighting. Around 8,000 people fled their villages around Mosul over the last few days to Qarakoush and Caritas Iraq teams have been providing them with blankets, mattresses, food and medical supplies. Arrangements have also been made with churches and mosques to act as emergency shelters with Caritas providing equipment and supplies for those seeking shelter. Caritas Iraq has also reported that the Chaldean church in Baghdad has been damaged by the heavy bombardment and their Bishop Emmanuel Dalli slightly injured by broken glass..

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