Update on the Red Crescent

IRAQ: Red Crescent gradually resumes its work

BAGHDAD, 24 Jan 2007 (IRIN) – The Iraq Red Crescent is steadily resuming its work in Baghdad after it suspended its activities in the capital for more than three weeks following the kidnapping by militants of its staff members and volunteers on 17 December 2006.

Of the 30 staff members kidnapped from the heavily guarded Red Crescent headquarters, 10 are yet to be released.

The aid agency has been the main conduit for the distribution of supplies, food and non-food items, countrywide, according to the Ministry of Displacement and Migration and local aid agencies. Thousands of families became desperate after the suspension of the Red Crescent’s work in Baghdad and the closure of 40 of its subsidiary offices in the capital.

“The main activities of the Iraq Red Crescent, Baghdad branch were to provide assistance to internally displaced peoples and distribute messages to and from detainees. These activities, which were suspended, have resumed progressively,” Nada Doumani, spokeswoman of the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC), told IRIN.

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