Description of the disaster
The Iraqi demonstrations erupted on 1 October 2019 in Baghdad and spread to the rest of the southern governorates of Iraq to protest mainly against the deteriorating economic conditions of the country, corruption, unemployment and inefficient public services. The demonstrators’ demands resulted in the formation of an interim government and early elections.
The demonstrations were postponed due to the 40th visit of Imam Hussein, before commencing on Friday 25 October, the deadliest day of protests, when dozen of people were killed and wounded, especially in Dhi Qar Governorate which led to the Iraqi Prime Minister’s declaring his intention to resign.
On 30 November, the High Commission for Human Rights in Iraq reported that the death toll during the demonstrations in October and November rose to 460 and more than 17 thousand wounded.
Summary of current response
More than 500 volunteers and paramedics from Iraq Red Crescent society continue to be deployed to assist injured people during demonstrations in Baghdad and other cities, mainly in Iraq’s south. The paramedics are providing first aid services, transporting injured people to hospitals, and supporting medical teams inside the hospitals.
Overview of Host National Society
The Iraqi Red Crescent Society (IRCS) is an independent national humanitarian organization whose work is to alleviate the pain and suffering of members of communities without discrimination in times of peace and war during natural and non-natural disasters. The National Society is one of the active organisations of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Its work depends on the principle of voluntary service, which is the basic rule in the work of the Iraqi Red Crescent Society, one of the pillars of the Movement derives from the other Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.
The Iraqi Red Crescent Society has been responding to the unrest since its onset in October 2019 relying on its capacities with the allocated support by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) through this DREF operation and with the financial and technical support of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
From the first days of the protests that began in Baghdad on 1 October 2019, the staff members and the volunteers of IRCS have been daily monitoring the situation on the sites to assist the victims.
The IRCS established a strong Coordination System with the Ministry of Health and deployed IRCS trained volunteers in the hospitals to offer assistance to the Medical staff due to the high number of injured referred to Hospitals. The IRCS teams carried out extensive outreach activity on the use of the emblem of the Red Cross/Red Crescent and the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.