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Kiwi Aid Worker Braves Mayhem in Iraq

Kiwi Aid Worker Braves Mayhem in Iraq

Christchurch born aid worker Judy Moore plans to head back into Iraq this weekend (October 4) armed with a flak jacket and helmet ? now standard issue for World Vision staff posted to Iraq.

Christchurch born aid worker Judy Moore heads back into Iraq this weekend.

Ms Moore, 54, was pulled out of Mosul, northern Iraq, earlier this month following a flurry of car-jackings, shootings and rocket propelled grenade attacks on foreign targets, perpetuated by criminals and suspected Baath party extremists.

But Judy is glad to be returning despite the fact many UN and aid agency staff are pulling out.

"We've got winter coming and we can't sit back and do nothing when we know there are people needing warm blankets and clothing," she said.
"There's a fine line you have to walk between being sensible yet not allowing yourself to be bullied."

Judy a veteran of crises in Cambodia, Rwanda and the Balkans considers Iraq to be her most dangerous assignment yet.

"While I was in Mosul [previously] my flak jacket was kept right next to my desk ? we know we are targets and we take it seriously," she said.

She said her movements were confined to the office and her home to minimise the risk of being shot.

Judy says it's been frustrating to have to temporarily leave Iraq as most local people are extremely supportive of aid efforts to restore the country.

Judy praised local Iraqi staff who were continuing programmes by working from their homes using unmarked vehicles. Staff were busy reconstructing looted schools following post-war mayhem and delivering essential aid to thousands left homeless through economic decline and war.

"It's important to go and keep up morale," she said.

Meanwhile the perimeter of the World Vision office where Judy works has been reinforced with concrete blocks to absorb the impact of a car bomb attack.

© Scoop Media

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