Aid agency fears post-war sidelining of UN
Christian Aid has expressed its concerns that the UN will be sidelined by the US administration in a post-conflict Iraq.
The agencies director, Daleep Mukarji has said that he believes the UN must play the leading role in coordinating humanitarian aid during and after the Iraq conflict - something that the current US position appears to be at odds with.
Similar concerns were recently expressed by The House of Commons International Development Select Committee, a cross-party group of MPs that has the job of scrutinising the current situation.
The alternative to the UN is to use military forces. But Christian Aid has suggested that it is inappropriate for troops to provide humanitarian assistance, except under extreme conditions and then only for a short period of time.
They say that they cannot provide help impartially and lack the expertise to conduct such operations properly.
It is their belief that the current policy of using humanitarian aid to win 'hearts and minds' is also innapropriate, and aid must instead be provided on the basis of need.
Several agencies have suggested that even while the war is being waged, independent access to desperate civilians ought to be a central priority of all parties.
They suggest that this can be achieved by means such as the creation of safe "humanitarian corridors" through which aid can be delivered.