Medical aid charity to stay in Baghdad after bomb attacks

Medical relief charity Merlin will continue its work in Baghdad following a security assessment in the aftermath of the recent suicide bomb attacks.

The charity has three expatriate staff in the Iraqi capital overseeing work rehabilitating clinics and improving access to healthcare for the poorest parts of the city's population.

Merlin's health director Linda Doull said: "Currently around half of the city's population have no access to affordable healthcare. Around 80 per cent of Merlin's target areas have no regular water or sanitation, making the potential risk of disease higher than it has been for two years.

"We will continue to monitor the security situation carefully but at this stage the level of humanitarian need in Iraq outweighs the potential security risks to our programme and staff."

Merlin is one of the last NGOs to retain foreign staff in Baghdad.

Care International is another but is reviewing security "hour by hour".

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