Potential Humanitarian Issues in Post-War Iraq: An Overview for Congress [March 18, 2003] [open pdf - 68KB]
"There seems to be a consensus that the current poor humanitarian situation inside Iraq could worsen during a conflict, though this would likely depend on the nature and duration of the conflict and the extent and quality of humanitarian assistance. Problems could arise from the following: malnutrition and disruption of food supplies, inadequate sanitation and clean water, and reduced health and medical care. The consequences of war in Iraq could also include a potential humanitarian emergency with population movements across borders or within Iraq itself. Given the challenge of current conditions in Iraq, U.N. agencies indicate that a conflict in Iraq would disrupt critical infrastructure, delivery of basic services, and food distribution with the potential of severe humanitarian consequences. Relief agencies are having to plan for humanitarian needs amid great uncertainty about conditions in the aftermath of conflict. In recent months many have continued to reiterate that contingency planning does not mean they assumed war was inevitable."
CRS Report for Congress, RL31814