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Speech by Derek Fatchett on Humanitarian Situation in Iraq

The following speech was given yesterday by Derek Fatchett. Notice he
makes no reference to the UN Humanitarian Panel's recent report which
leaves no doubt as to the "consistent picture" emerging from the data.
CASI will be formulating a response to this speech, drawing on the UN
humanitarian report, in the next few days. In the mean time the
Humanitarian Panel report is available at

Also note the Office of the Iraq Programme have just released their 2-year
programme review - see

   Humanitarian situtaion in Iraq
   Statement by the British Minister of State, Derek Fatchett, to the
   House of Commons. 5 May 1999
   The export of food and medicines to Iraq has never been prohibited
   under sanctions. We are aware of claims that large numbers of children
   are dying every month. We have some concerns about the original
   sources of this information and the way the data has been interpreted.
   According to the most recent UN report on the implementation of 'oil
   for food', the UN humanitarian programme is making a real difference
   to the humanitarian situation in Iraq. It made clear that in the
   north, where the UN is responsible for distribution, there were very
   few if any shortages of essential drugs, and malnutrition was
   decreasing. In the centre and south, however, the Iraqi government
   refuses to engage constructively in the programme. It refuses to make
   efforts to prioritise properly what is purchased for the programme, to
   target it towards the most vulnerable, or to improve the poor
   distribution system.
   We are determined to do what we can to improve all aspects of the
   humanitarian situation. Together with the Netherlands, the UK has
   tabled a draft Security Council resolution which attempts to translate
   the work of the three UN Iraq panels into action. On the humanitarian
   side, our draft resolution brings together a whole range of measures
   including lifting the ceiling on Iraqi oil exports under 'oil for
   food', streamlining Sanctions Committee approval procedures, allowing
   local procurement and the payment of local costs, and commissioning
   expert advice on how to increase Iraq's oil production. These measures
   should make significant improvements to the humanitarian situation in

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