Water and War: ICRC Response

Water and War: ICRC Response

Source: International Committee of the Red Cross, 2009

Author(s): Robert Mardini

Countries: Haiti, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan

Topics: Basic Services, Cooperation, Humanitarian Assistance, Livelihoods, Programming

Added: 09/07/2014


In 2008, close to 15 million people in more than 40 war-affected countries benefited from ICRC water and habitat programmes, with more than 400 engineers and technicians working under often extremely difficult conditions. In the event of an armed conflict or other situation of violence, the objective of the ICRC’s water and habitat programmes is to reduce health risks – such as water-borne diseases – for the communities. The ICRC’s emergency response is activated immediately; it is followed by rehabilitation projects providing essential services: access to safe drinking water, sanitation and health-care facilities. The ICRC’s response is directed, above all, at improving the living conditions and dignity of victims of armed conflict.


The ICRC’s operations continue to meet the most pressing needs of men, women and children affected by armed conflict, while remaining mindful of environmental considerations. By implementing innovative and sustainable solutions, the ICRC is striving to reduce its carbon footprint without compromising its effectiveness in the field. It is committed to developing new approaches and to ensuring that its projects, while remaining responsive to global changes, continue to provide effective assistance to people affected by conflicts.


This publication looks at some vital issues associated with water and sanitation in conflict-affected countries where the ICRC is working.


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