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Public Health at Risk as Aid Agencies Pull out of Iraq


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Four major non-governmental organisations are scaling down their operations in Iraq amid security concerns after the bombings of the UN headquarters and the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad.

The International Committee of the Red Cross, Oxfam, Save the Children, and Merlin have withdrawn their international staff from Baghdad.

"The decision to temporarily withdraw our international staff from Iraq comes from a general insecurity since the end of the war," said Brendan Cox, a spokesman for Oxfam.

A car bombing of the Jordanian embassy on 7 August killed at least 11 people, and on 19 August a suicide bomb attack on the UN headquarters killed at least 23 people and wounded more than 100. Recently a series of grenade and bomb attacks have been directed at foreign journalists and aid workers

Brendan Paddy, a spokesman for Save the Children, said: "There is a clear pattern of events—the bombings—showing that humanitarian workers are not being treated as impartial."

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