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Library Water and war

Water and war

Water and war

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Date of publication
December 2008
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This publication looks at key issues associated with water and sanitation in countries that are afflicted by armed conflict and where the ICRC works. The issues are identified as health, displacement, detention, urbanisation and natural disasters. The countries where ICRC is working include Iraq, Haiti, Somalia and Yemen. The publication analyses challenges from the point of view of the operational practice that has developed. It makes the following observations:

water is life and it should be protected by international humanitarian law
the planet is undergoing climate changes that will determine the management of water resources
half of the world population live in urban areas
the nature of armed conflict has changed for the worse and the people's living conditions are at the heart of ICRC's response
the response is more effective if implemented in cooperation with the beneficiary communities.

The publication concludes by stating that global changes will determine new avenues and solutions to be pursued to ensure that the ICRC's response is still appropriate to the needs of the people affected by future conflicts.

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