The international relief organization Doctors Without Borders, known by its French initials MSF, has said that Iraq represents one of the top ten humanitarian crises in the world. The MSF group, which was compelled to withdraw its staff from many parts of Iraq for security reasons in 2004, is gradually rebuilding its relief presence in Iraq, in addition to running a surgical treatment program in Amman and doctor-training programs in Iraqi cities. MSF writes:
One of the greatest challenges facing independent humanitarian action today is that of reaching civilians caught in war and armed conflicts. Nowhere is this more frustratingly illustrated than in Iraq, where MSF has struggled to gain a meaningful foothold since the US-led invasion of 2003. Various military and political actors have sought to use and abuse humanitarian action for political purposes and in doing so have made humanitarian organizations a target for violent attacks. This has undermined the ability of MSF, and other neutral humanitarian organizations to address critical needs of the civilian population.
MSF was forced to leave the violence-affected regions of Iraq in 2004 when attacks on humanitarian aid workers placed its teams at too great a risk. The recent moderation of violence levels in Iraq has presented MSF with new opportunities to re-engage inside Iraq with direct medical care. In 2008, MSF has cautiously started several new projects inside Iraq.
MSF features a slideshow of Iraqis who have received treatment in its programs.
See the MSF statement for more information about its relief operations in Iraq.