Water and Aid Provided to Needy but Agencies Are Still Hindered
THE coalition push into the heart of Basra will not guarantee the easier distribution of food and medical supplies in the city, aid agencies warned yes t erday.
Will Slater, spokesman for the British Red Cross, said it was wrong to assume supplies would reach the needy now that coalition forces were further into Basra.
He said there were still difficulties in negotiating ``a passage through the front line'' because aid workers did ``not know what elements of the Iraqi army remained''.
A spokeswoman for Oxfam said its workers would not be entering the city because it was still considered ``too dangerous''.
She said, ``Our security analysis is that it's still not safe enough for us to go in.
``There's a humanitarian imperative and we want to go in as soon as we can. We have all seen the chaotic delivery of aid over the past few weeks and that's something we are concerned about.''
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been working over the past few weeks to ensure water reaches the more than one million people living in Basra.
The supply dried up in the last week of March after fighting caused damage to power lines leading to water treatment plants. …