The humanitarian situation in post-war Iraq five years after the US-led invasion is one of the most critical in the world, the International Committee of the Red Cross said in a report late Sunday.
Millions in the country had no access to drinking water, sanitation or healthcare. Decades of previous unrest and economic sanctions had exacerbated the situation, it stressed.
Advertisement"The fact that some people in Iraq are now relatively safer must not make us forget the plight of millions," said Beatrice Megevand Roggo, the Red Cross head of operations in the Middle East and North Africa.
Although the situation had improved in some areas, Iraqis were either killed or wounded in daily attacks or violence with civilians often being targeted, said the report. Healthcare was far too expensive for the average citizen, it added.
A recent World Health Organisation and Iraqi health ministry report estimated that 151,000 people were killed between the start of the invasion on March 20, 2003 and June 2006.
Other estimates have put the number of civilian deaths as a result of the conflict between nearly 48,000 and as high as 601,000.