Saturday, March 22, 2003

Iraqi childern
Will Iraqi children be strong enough to survive?

UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy says ,
”We delivered therapeutic food for more than 400,000 malnourished children, but there are more than 1 million malnourished children in Iraq. We immunized virtually every child under age five against measles. But we did not have time to reach the 6-to-12-year-olds who missed measles immunization when they were younger. Bellamy said there was no way of knowing how many children might perish during war or its aftermath. She said that would depend on how long a war lasts and how it affects civilian infrastructure. But she said the days and weeks ahead would be difficult for children.

War always has catastrophic consequences. It said that one-quarter of children under the age of five chronically malnourished, and some 60 per cent of the population dependent on government food rations. This is a very fact that malnourished children are susceptible to disease. So diseases can spread rapidly during war, when safe water supplies are disrupted, people are displaced from their homes, and sources of food and medicine are compromised.
Bellamy added,” we should all remember that children make up half of Iraq's population. Children will die in this war. That's a fact. The question is how many children we can protect”

Iraq's situation is unique in many ways. An eight-year war with Iran in the 1980s and the Gulf War in 1990 greatly damaged Iraq's infrastructure. The country has been under comprehensive United Nations sanctions for 12 years. Since 1996, arrangements have been put in place to alleviate the impact of sanctions on the population. The Oil for Food Programme (OFFP), passed by the Security Council in late 1996, allows the Iraqi government to sell oil and use the revenue to purchase humanitarian supplies.These efforts seem to have stopped the humanitarian situation from deteriorating, but they have not greatly improved conditions for most Iraqis. This is partly because revenue has not been sufficient for comprehensive rehabilitation.
(posted by Iman)

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