* Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.
"We have been receiving reports of food and fuel supplies running short, especially in Fallujah," said Patrick Youssef, head of the ICRC delegation in Iraq. "If power outages continue and medical supplies are not replenished, health-care facilities could soon be unable to provide patients with suitable care."
The ICRC is calling on those involved in the fighting in Fallujah, Ramadi and other areas to spare civilians and to allow and facilitate humanitarian aid to reach the people who need it most. It is also insisting that medical personnel be allowed to perform their tasks in safety.
"We are ready to deliver life-saving supplies and other humanitarian aid immediately to the areas hardest hit," said Mr Youssef. "But we need to be given access and the necessary security guarantees."
The ICRC has been in Iraq since 1980, working to ease the effects of conflict and other violence. Its assistance activities in the country focus, among other things, on helping poor farmers boost production, providing displaced people with emergency aid, and making grants to women heading households and to disabled people so they can start small businesses, generate income and live in greater dignity. The ICRC also visits detainees to monitor the conditions in which they are being held and help them maintain contact with their families.
For further information, please contact:Pawel Krzysiek, ICRC Baghdad, tel: +964 790 191 6927Dibeh Fakhr, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 37 23 or +41 79 447 37 26