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]

Re: UN Humanitarian representative to speak in Oxford


Please ask him about the allegations of medicines languishing in Iraqi

I've enclosed below an attempt to answer the recent question "Why are
there medicines filling warehouses in Iraq that are not being distributed
to hospitals?"  If he has anything to add to the info listed below, or if
anyone else on this list does, please let me know. 

Thank you,
-Rania Masri
Iraq Action Coalition
Tel: 919.272.8685; Fax: 919.846.7422

Recently, Secretary General Annan voiced concerns that "medicine imported
through the U.N. oil-for-food program is languishing in Iraqi warehouses."
The UN report, publicized through an AP report (Feb. 23, 1999), further
stated that "Only half of the $540 million worth of drugs and medical
supplies delivered to Iraq since the program was launched in 1996 have
reached hospitals and clinics." 

The implied allegation is that the Iraqi government is not distributing
these needed medicines. The important question is whether the Iraqi
government is doing this deliberately, or whether it simply lacks the
capability for the distribution of these goods.  Answering this question
will clarify the placement of the responsibility.

A conversation that Bert Sacks, of Voices in the Wilderness, had with Dr.
Habib Rejeb, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Baghdad,
in November 1998 reveals important information, necessary for answering
this question. 

It is the WHO's responsibility to oversee the distribution of medicines in
Iraq. Dr. Rejeb stated that the inability to repair and restore the
infrastructure of Iraq was hampering the distribution of medicines from
warehouses.  He stated that there is a lack of refrigerated trucks and
fork lifts for the distribution, and a lack of computers to keep track of
the inventory. The distribution of medicines from warehouses is further
hampered by the bombed civilian infrastrutures -- electrical generating
plants and telecommunication systems. {end of quote}


On Tue, 2 Mar 1999, Harriet Griffin wrote:

> The Oxford University Arab Cultural Society is to host a talk on the
> humanitarian situation in Iraq. The talk will be given by Abdul-Fattah
> Odeh, Head of a monitoring team from the Office of the UN Humanitarian
> Co-ordinator in Baghdad, on Saturday 13th March in the Saskatchewan
> Room, Exeter College, Oxford (Turl Street) at 7.30 p.m. This will be a
> good opportunity to make contact with Mr Odeh and to ask questions. The
> talk has been organised by the Arab Cultural Society, so please contact
> them if you need further information: phone (01865) 515166 or e-mail:
> --
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> This is a discussion list run by Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
> To be removed/added, email, NOT the
> whole list. Archived at

"In a sense, it is a total war against the past. ... History is being
erased, with no possibility of being recovered." -- Professor John Russell
of the Massachusetts College of Art

"[Babylon] is where you have ... the first examples of writing, the first
villages, the first wheel, the first boats," says Moyad Said, director of
Baghdad's Iraqi Museum. Yet the 20th century turmoil that now engulfs this
troubled region threatens to destroy Babylon's history forever. 

Iraq Action Coalition

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]