Government help refused by Christian aid agencies
Financial support from the government for relief work in Iraq is being declined by church and other aid agencies.
The agencies have signed a statement saying that they fear compromising their independence.
A declaration by the directors of Oxfam, Save the Children, Christian Aid, ActionAid and the Catholic agency Cafod, says such aid would be inappropriate while fighting continues.
The statement also warns of the dangers of humanitarian aid being provided by troops.
"It is impossible for armed forces fighting a war to provide impartial humanitarian assistance on the basis of need. By definition, the priorities of combatant forces are military and adversarial, not humanitarian" the aid agencies said.
In a further statement, Cafod said it "could not envisage circumstances under which it would accept money for war-related humanitarian work from any belligerent party in a war against Iraq during the fighting."