Agencies in Iraq reduce operations

Cite escalation of hostilities
Church aid agencies working in Iraq are pulling out international staff, reviewing their programs in the face of continuing violence, and in at least one instance considering suspending operations altogether, the Geneva-based Action by Churches Together (ACT) International alliance announced last month.

“The hostage-taking in Iraq, combined with an escalation of hostilities in general, have compelled DanChurchAid to seriously reconsider its international presence in Iraq [in the city of Basra],” said Lennart Skov-Hansen, relief coordinator of the Danish aid agency which is a member of ACT, a global network of churches and relief organizations.

“The security situation has deteriorated during the last couple of weeks,” Skov-Hansen said in an ACT statement April 22. “There is little expectation that the situation might improve much before July 1, when the coalition force is handing over the governing of the country to the Iraqi people.”


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