The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

FW: Report of American Friends Service Committee

> FEBRUARY 1, 1999   3:18 PM
> CONTACT: American Friends Service Committee
> Report Finds Consequences Of  Sanctions Fall Most Heavily On Children,
> Families In Iraq; Quaker medical delegation cites UN sanction study
> that
> attributes 50,000 excess deaths in children under age 5 in 1997 alone.
> PHILADELPHIA - February 1 - A medical delegation sent to Iraq by the
> American
> Friends Service Committee found that eight years of sustained economic
> sanctions have had their severest impact on families and children
> there,
> producing a generation of young people weakened by disease, isolated
> from the
> outside world and left "to feed on feelings of bitterness and
> injustice." 
> The delegation's report "Child and Maternal Health and Nutrition in
> Iraq Under
> the Sanctions" was released today following the group's visit to Iraq
> in
> November. The 20 -page document was drawn from reviews of UN reports,
> discussions with UN officials both in New York and in Baghdad, and
> interviews
> with physicians, government officials, professionals and lay people in
> Iraq.
> The delegation consisted of four pediatricians and one social worker,
> all of
> whom have worked in international health programs. 
> "The consequences of the sanctions fall most heavily on children," the
> doctors
> noted in their report. "While adults can endure long periods of
> hardship and
> privation, children's physiological immaturity and vulnerability
> provide them
> with less resistance. They are put at greater risk and are less likely
> to
> survive persistent shortages." 
> Among its conclusions, the delegation cited chronic malnutrition as
> the
> primary factor underlying the increased levels of mortality in young
> children.
> The group also found that economic hardship and unemployment has had a
> severe
> impact on families, which in turn has led to increased school
> absenteeism and
> a growing population of "street children" begging and doing small
> jobs. 
> The team stated that the public debate about Iraq has been clouded by
> political rhetoric which has obscured the humanitarian crisis. For
> example,
> the team cites American and UN public health experts who estimate that
> more
> than 50,000 excess deaths occurred in Iraqi children under the age of
> 5 in
> 1997 alone. 
> "The purpose of this report is to direct public attention to the human
> consequences of the sanctions, so that rather than assigning blame, we
> can
> acknowledge the magnitude of the problem and direct our energies to
> dealing
> with it," the doctors wrote. 
> The medical delegation also found that the so-called intellectual
> embargo
> which among other things forbids the importation of medical journals
> has cut
> Iraqi health professionals off from recent scientific advances. This
> has
> seriously eroded the quality of health care in Iraq, the team said. 
> The report includes six recommendations urging the UN to re-evaluate
> the
> impact of sanctions. The team cited high infant mortality rates, an
> ailing
> infrastructure needing repair in order to adequately generate
> electricity,
> purify water pump sewage and maintain the health care system to reduce
> the
> frequency of infection and disease related to malnutrition. Finally
> the report
> calls for an end to the isolation of Iraqi civilians, including health
> professionals who have been cut off from the flow of scientific
> information
> and opportunities for training and continuing education. 
> "It is essential that we reopen communication with our Iraqi
> counterparts
> working in health, education and child welfare," the team wrote. "The
> rebuilding of Iraq's health and educational institutions will take
> years, and
> would benefit from long-term and well-established ties with
> international
> organizations." 
> The delegation included the following children's health specialists: 
> Nicholas Cunningham is Professor of Clinical Pediatrics and Clinical
> Public
> Health at Columbia University School of Public Health; Attending
> Pediatrician
> and Director of Outpatient Pediatrics at the Babies Hospital Division
> of the
> Presbyterian Hospital of NY. 
> Nan Dale is President/CEO of The Children's Village in NY. 
> Leila Richards has organized humanitarian relief and health services
> for
> refugees and war victims around the world. 
> Ramona Sunderwirth-Bailly is Director of Pediatric Emergency Services
> and co-
> director of the Child Advocacy Team at Bronx Lebanon Hospital;
> Assistant
> Professor at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine. 
> Joe Wray is Emeritus Professor at the Center for Population and Family
> Health,
> School of Public Health, Columbia University. 
> For printed copies of the report, contact Jason Erb, AFSC Program
> Assistant
> for Iraq at 215 241-6985. 
> There are also two on-line versions of the report:
> Child and Maternal Health and Nutrition in Iraq under the Sanctions,
> Executive
> Summary (8 KB). 
> Child and Maternal Health and Nutrition in Iraq under the Sanctions,
> Full
> report (85 KB). 
> ### 
> The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization which
> includes
> people of various faiths who are committed to social justice, peace
> and
> humanitarian service. Its work is based on the belief in the worth of
> every
> person and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and
> injustice. 
This is a discussion list run by Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To be removed/added, email, NOT the
whole list. Archived at

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]