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Iraqi reconstruction: for an empowerment process
  1. V Ridde
  1. Département de médecine sociale et préventive, Pavillon de l’Est, Université Laval, Québec, Canada, G1K 7P4;

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    Humanitarian assistance in Iraq after the conflict

    Between my missions in Iraq in 1994/95 and the latest in May 2003, the health of the Iraqi population has dramatically deteriorated1 and what little remained of the healthcare system no longer exists. Total chaos reigns, healthcare centres have been looted,2 and patients are not receiving treatment. Twenty million dollars per month would be needed to revive the system.3 But for it to operate effectively, it is necessary to first reconstruct it. The purpose of this paper is to stimulate a debate on the possible effects of the current process of humanitarian assistance in Iraq, in which non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are involved, because it is necessary to meet the needs of the Iraqi people in an appropriate way.4

    For some time now, humanitarian actors have been alarmed at the confusion that results from military implementation of humanitarian projects. When American forces bombarded Afghanistan in 2001, with grenades accompanied by daily food rations and medicines, NGOs drew attention to this possible confusion.5 On …

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    • * So named according to the terminology of international law and the Geneva Conventions

    • This point was raised by the general director of the NGO “Aide Médicale Internationale”

    • Conflicts of interest: the author is an NGO consultant in programme evaluation.

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