Iraqi child death rates soar

Elias.Karagiannis at Elias.Karagiannis at
Thu Aug 12 08:13:00 PDT 1999

>From the BBC and dedicated to the supporters of neo nazis. In a few years
we will be sending reports on the soaring child death rate in the Balkans. No war crimes investigation will take place because neither the Iraqi kids nor the Balkan ones are considered humans by the "humanitarian bombers".



World: Middle East

Iraqi child death rates soar

Hospitals say they are short of even the most basic medicines

Iraqi children under five are dying at more than twice the rate they were 10 years ago according to a report from Unicef, the United Nations' children's fund.

The BBC's John McIntyre reports on the effects of the sanctions The report, compiled with the co-operation of the Iraqi Government, is the first survey of child and maternal mortality in Iraq to be carried since the end of the Gulf War in 1991.

In what it describes as an "ongoing humanitarian emergency" the report shows a dramatic rise in child mortality rates in central and southern Iraq - areas controlled by the Baghdad government.

Unicef estimates that over the last 10 years at least half a million child deaths could have been prevented.

Preventable deaths

Thousands of children are dying of preventable diseases Iraqi doctors have warned that many more children will die of preventable diseases unless sanctions against the country are lifted.

Unicef says that other factors, such as Baghdad's delay in distributing the aid supplies it is allowed to import under a food-for-oil deal, have contributed to the problems.

To make matters worse, the social and physical infrastructure of Iraq is crumbling.

Unicef spokeswoman Anita Tiessen: "Half a million children who are now dead would be alive" The education system has been run down and figures show that children of educated mothers have a better chance of survival.

Sewers and water mains are not being maintained, which means that some children are falling victim to water-borne diseases that were virtually unheard of 10 years ago.

Stunted growth

Food shortages have hit Iraqis hard Some sewers have collapsed allowing raw sewage to soak through the earth and into cracks in drinking-water pipes.

The report also says that Iraqis are not eating enough and estimates that 20% of Iraqi children under five suffer stunted growth caused by malnutrition.

It adds that in the northern Kurdish areas, where the UN runs the relief operation, the number of child fatalities has decreased by more than a fifth.

The UN agency says sanctions aimed at Saddam Hussein are hurting Iraq's children The report recommends that more money is needed for humanitarian aid.

It says the Iraqi Government should do more to promote breast-feeding, and it says the Iraqis and the UN Sanctions Committee should try harder to bring in supplies which children need for survival.

Since 1996 the UN has allowed Iraq to sell limited amounts of oil to raise funds for food, medicine, and other humanitarian aid.

The BBC's Claire Doole in Geneva: "Survey shows a dramatic rise in child mortality" But in a two-year review of the programme released in April, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said although billions of dollars worth of food and medicine had been delivered, the programme could not and was not meant to meet all the humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people.

The UN agency says that sanctions may have been intended by the international community to promote peace and security, but its says they should not harm children.

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