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Re: Speech by Derek Fatchett on Humanitarian Situation in Iraq

I believe that problems/criticisms of the distribution system have only come
up in the past 9 months or so.  I've heard that the WHO recommended
stockpiling goods in a report of June '98 to solve the problems of irregular
deliveries, delays, etc.

Another thing to keep in mind is the utterly fraudulent treatment
governments give these reports.  They are very quick to cite passages about
warehouses overflowing with medical goods and delays (by the Iraqi
government) in ordering protein biscuits and fortified milk.  What they'll
never say is that if Iraq were hoarding its humanitarian goods for the
military, the program would be undermined and discontinued.  We are in phase
V of a very tightly monitored oil-for-food deal which has involved problems
and criticisms on both sides, but cancellation of this program has never
been under serious question.  What they'll never say is that military
attacks, poor staffing, lack of computers for inventory, shortage of
vehicles...are genuinely and significantly contributing to distribution
problems.  True, the UN seems to be doing a better job in the North.  But I
think it is rather insulting for Iraq to hear +ACI-hey listen: you could be
doing a better job by doing this and this and this...+ACI-, though certainly
concerns about the effectiveness of the implementation are valid.  The
question then becomes: Is this worth it?  Is the battle for the
effectiveness of an inadequate emergency program undermining the ultimate
goal of once again allowing Iraqis some normalcy?  At what point does the
struggle for the most effective oil-for-food deal resign us to the
acceptance of an on-going humanitarian problems in Iraq.  We all know what
conclusions Dennis Halliday came to.

The UN is used to these emergencies.  Iraq is used to running its own
economy and social system under more normal conditions.  We should also
consider the brain-drain they've experienced and the lack of resources to
make up for it by training people for the future.  And I bet UN workers
don't have to go home hungry.  How does doing humanitarian work in your own
country - a country that has been seriously economically crippled - affect
your performance?  There are lots of considerations often ignored.

Ultimately, minor bumbling/poor decision-making by Iraqi authorities with
respect to oil-for-food, whether purposeful or not, does not absolve
sanctioners from creating, exacerbating and perpetuating Iraqi suffering.

We must also keep in mind the nature of oil-for-food.  Here's another
passage government officials will never quote.  It comes from the Secretary
General's 2 year report of oil-for-food and is available at

+AFs-begin excerpt+AF0-

115. This +AFs-oil-for-food+AF0- is a programme established by the Security Council,
under Chapter VII of the Charter, as a temporary measure to provide for the
humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people until fulfilment by Iraq of the
relevant Council resolutions. The programme pursuant to resolution 986
(1995) cannot - and was never meant to - meet all the humanitarian needs of
the Iraqi people, nor can it restore Iraq's economic and social
infrastructure to pre-1990 levels.

116. Regardless of the improvements that may be brought about in the scope
and implementation of the programme - both in terms of approval procedures
and funding levels - the magnitude of the humanitarian needs is such that
they cannot be met within the parameters set in resolution 986 (1995) and
succeeding resolutions, in particular 1153 (1998). The very substantial
degradation of infrastructure and the magnitude of the funds required for
its rehabilitation is far beyond the funding level available under the

+AFs-End Excerpt+AF0-

Andrew Loucks
The Global Movement to End the War
against Iraq -
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
+ACI-Each of us has an instrument to bring to the vast orchestra
of humanity+ACI-   - Jean Vanier
-----Original Message-----
From: Eri Garuti
To: Seb Wills
Date: May 7, 1999 5:54 AM
Subject: R: Speech by Derek Fatchett on Humanitarian Situation in Iraq

I've read various FAO-WFP and UNICEF reports. They said the food situation
in the North of Iraq was better, becuase the North is rch of fertile land
and agricultural products. They didn't talk about problems of distribution.

Eri Garuti

-----Messaggio originale-----
Da: Seb Wills
Data: gioved+AOw- 6 maggio 1999 18.56
Oggetto: Speech by Derek Fatchett on Humanitarian Situation in Iraq

+AD4-The following speech was given yesterday by Derek Fatchett. Notice he
+AD4-makes no reference to the UN Humanitarian Panel's recent report which
+AD4-leaves no doubt as to the +ACI-consistent picture+ACI- emerging from the data.
+AD4-CASI will be formulating a response to this speech, drawing on the UN
+AD4-humanitarian report, in the next few days. In the mean time the
+AD4-Humanitarian Panel report is available at
+AD4-Also note the Office of the Iraq Programme have just released their 2-year
+AD4-programme review - see
+AD4-   Humanitarian situtaion in Iraq
+AD4-   Statement by the British Minister of State, Derek Fatchett, to the
+AD4-   House of Commons. 5 May 1999
+AD4-   The export of food and medicines to Iraq has never been prohibited
+AD4-   under sanctions. We are aware of claims that large numbers of children
+AD4-   are dying every month. We have some concerns about the original
+AD4-   sources of this information and the way the data has been interpreted.
+AD4-   According to the most recent UN report on the implementation of 'oil
+AD4-   for food', the UN humanitarian programme is making a real difference
+AD4-   to the humanitarian situation in Iraq. It made clear that in the
+AD4-   north, where the UN is responsible for distribution, there were very
+AD4-   few if any shortages of essential drugs, and malnutrition was
+AD4-   decreasing. In the centre and south, however, the Iraqi government
+AD4-   refuses to engage constructively in the programme. It refuses to make
+AD4-   efforts to prioritise properly what is purchased for the programme, to
+AD4-   target it towards the most vulnerable, or to improve the poor
+AD4-   distribution system.
+AD4-   We are determined to do what we can to improve all aspects of the
+AD4-   humanitarian situation. Together with the Netherlands, the UK has
+AD4-   tabled a draft Security Council resolution which attempts to translate
+AD4-   the work of the three UN Iraq panels into action. On the humanitarian
+AD4-   side, our draft resolution brings together a whole range of measures
+AD4-   including lifting the ceiling on Iraqi oil exports under 'oil for
+AD4-   food', streamlining Sanctions Committee approval procedures, allowing
+AD4-   local procurement and the payment of local costs, and commissioning
+AD4-   expert advice on how to increase Iraq's oil production. These measures
+AD4-   should make significant improvements to the humanitarian situation in
+AD4-   Iraq.
+AD4-This is a discussion list run by Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
+AD4-To be removed/added, email, NOT
+AD4-whole list. Archived at

This is a discussion list run by Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To be removed/added, email, NOT the
whole list. Archived at

This is a discussion list run by Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To be removed/added, email, NOT the
whole list. Archived at

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