Iraq Still Lacks Clean Water, Health Care

Medical system worse than ever at 5-year mark, says Red Cross
By Laurel Jorgensen,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2008 11:23 AM CDT
Iraq women collect water from a canal in Najaf, Iraq, Wednesday, March 5, 2008. Despite having two rivers, Iraq suffers from severe water shortages.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Five years after the US-led invasion of Iraq, its health care system is “now in worse shape than ever,” and millions of Iraqis still don’t have clean water and medical care, Reuters reports. “The humanitarian situation in most of the country remains among the most critical in the world,” the Red Cross said in a new report.

Some Iraqi families spend at least a third of their monthly income on clean drinking water, and hospitals don’t have enough beds, drugs, or staff. “Better security in some parts of Iraq must not distract attention from the continuing plight of millions,” says the Red Cross’ head of Middle Eastern and African operations.