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In a sober report marking the anniversary of the 2003 start of the war, which ousted dictator Saddam Hussein and unleashed deep sectarian tensions, the humanitarian body said Iraqi hospitals lack beds, drugs, and medical staff.
Some areas of the country of 27 million people have no functioning water and sanitation facilities, and the poor public water supply has forced some families to use at least a third of their average $150 monthly income buying clean drinking water.
"Five years after the outbreak of the war in Iraq, the humanitarian situation in most of the country remains among the most critical in the world," the ICRC said, describing Iraq's health care system as "now in worse shape than ever."