Lynn Fritz and Ahuma Adodoadji survey the charred remains of a long-time CARE warehouse that was destroyed during the conflict.

Fritz Institute mourns the lives of those who perished in the August 19th bombing of the United Nations' headquarters in Baghdad and throughout the conflict. We will especially miss Arthur Helton who was a friend and an affiliate. We continue to support the aid workers who are providing important relief to the Iraqi people.

Journal Entries:

Lynn Fritz, Fritz Institute’s director general, and Anisya Thomas, managing director, examined CARE International’s relief operations in Baghdad escorted by Ahuma Adodoadji, Director of CARE USA’s Emergency Group. The CARE operation was specifically selected as it is one of the few NGOs that has had a presence in the country for over 10 years and had among its ranks over 60 Iraqi nationals, doctors, engineers and other highly skilled workers.

Many in humanitarian relief believe that Iraq has created a unique humanitarian emergency. According to Ahuma, providing relief in this situation becomes more difficult because, this was a controversial pre-emptive action in which the US has become a target. Unlike other disasters in which you see images of malnutrition, starving children, etc., that’s not the case here. What you have here is persistent insecurity and damaged infrastructure, which has led to limited access to basic services like water, electricity and sanitation for large segments of the population. Our approach has been more on focusing on what we can do, which is addressing the problems of the damaged infrastructure, specifically water and sanitation and health facilities.

It is estimated that after the spring 2003 conflict, over 100 NGOs and international organizations from all over the world came into Iraq to provide assistance in an environment where the infrastructure had come to a complete standstill as a consequence of the war and the devastating looting that ensued when the conflict ended. Some of the issues that demanded immediate attention were severe security concerns, limited supplies of clean water, weeks without electricity in temperatures of over 120°F, lack of generators and refrigeration, as well as badly damaged hospitals and schools.


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