Mercy Corps Statement on Car Bomb Attack in Al Qaim, Iraq

Commenting on the attack Dr. Deepmala Mahla, Mercy Corps Country Director in Iraq said:

"This latest attack is yet more evidence that the spectre of extremism still looms large over Iraq. From Al Qaim to Kirkuk, we are seeing signs of a resurgence that is hauntingly reminiscent of 2011. The idea that extremism has been defeated in Iraq is at best, wishful thinking. Military victories won’t save young people from the risk of being radicalized; we still need to pull extremism out by the root.

"If we are to avoid the calamitous mistakes of the past, the international community must prioritise providing support for communities, many of which are still living in a state of emergency with no reliable access to water, food or basic amenities. So far, the pace of reconstruction has been woefully inadequate as the international community has looked to tighten the purse strings. This is a false economy -the human and financial costs could be astronomical if these wounds are allowed to fester.

"The majority of Iraq's population is under 25, they have had their education disrupted, and much of their lives have been blighted by conflict. All they are looking for is an opportunity. If the international community fails to recognise this and invest in humanitarian programmes, other groups will invariably look to capitalise."