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Although it doesn't specifically concern ambulances, the following information is unambiguous. I am sure you know these things already, but - Ambulances ARE among the items for Iraq which have been either permanently vetoed by the UN Sanctions Committee, or subjected to prolonged delays. Other items on this list (In: 'The Scourging of Iraq - Sanctions, Law and Natural Justice'. Geoff Simons 1996, 1998, p.118) include: blankets, PVC sheets, cleaning agents, rubber tubes, medical swabs/gauze/syringes/journals, nasal gastric tubes, NO cylinders for women in labour, canulas for intravenous drips, bandages, disposable surgical gloves, oxygen tents, ECG monitors, stethoscopes, all electrical equipment, dialysis equipment, etc etc. Paragraph F(20) of Resolution 687 ['...the prohibitions against the sale or supply to Iraq of commodities or products, other than medicine and health supplies, and prohibitions against financial transactions related thereto, contained in resolution 661 (1990), shall not apply to foodstuffs...or..to materials and supplies essential for civilian needs...'] has had "minimal practical consequences" as a result of sanctions procedures relating to trade/imports. Geoff Simons argues that the exemption of "supplies intended strictly for medical purposes" in resolution 661 has been rendered meaningless by its very wording ("strictly for medical supplies"). On 16 February 1994 the BBC Middle east correspondent Tim Llewllyn said "The claim by the Western governments that food and drugs flow freely into Iraq is not true. I have seen telexes and documents that showed clearly that the British and the American government interfered with the flow of crucial drugs into Iraq. that is unquestionable." It is not unlikely that the same approach has been applied regarding vehicles and spare parts for the ambulance service, as was deployed in blocking the movements of food and drugs, eg on 14th August 1993 an application from Japan to supply communication links for hospital use (including hospital-ambulance links) was vetoed by Britain. A Note Verbale from Iraq to the UN Centre for Human Rights (Geneva) in 1995 stated: "The impact of the sanctions on the health care is very serious and grave: 1) The capital constraint with reduced budget; 2) Partial utilisation of the already squeezed budget of health care, because of the blockade on the import which has led to serious shortage in drugs and other life saving measures and medical equipment. Even a number of shipments of medicines ordered and paid for prior to August 1990 has not been delivered;... 6) Delay(s) and misdiagnoses... because of delayed attendance for consultations due to lack or very high cost of transportation." An article I saw recently in the Guardian (Saturday November 21 1998) said that "The report [on the food-for-oil deal] due to be presented to the UN Security Council [on Monday 23 November] will say that... there has been a substantial improvement in the food and medical situation. The Guardian found that, while some medicines are available, the situation is still desperate....In two children's hospitals, the Saddam Hussein Children's Teaching Hospital and Anoor hospital, all doctors say there are more drugs...but children are still dying because equipment is obsolete and they cannot carry out basic procedures... blood for transfusions is short because bags for blood are restricted under sanctions... In a premature baby unit in a hospital on the outskirts of Baghdad [the] main problem is oxygen supplies..." Of what benefit is even the nominal permission to obtain an ambulance if the articles necessary to equip and maintain it are prohibited by the sanctions or subject to indefinite delays due to the impenetrably convoluted bureaucratic procedures surrounding the "humanitarian" exemptions? Harriet -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To be removed/added, email email@example.com, NOT the whole list. Archived at http://linux.clare.cam.ac.uk/~saw27/casi/discuss.html