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Here's the editorial from the current edition of The Guardian Weekly (Thursday 19 August - Wednesday 25 August). [The e-mail address for letters is email@example.com] Saving Iraq's Children. The importance of the report of the United Nations Children's Fund on Iraq is not that it confirms the many other studies showing that children in that country are suffering, but that it gives us precise, well-grounded figures, measured judgements on the causes of increased mortality, and practical recommendations which bear both on the Iraqi government and the international community. The figures show that, in the parts contolled by Saddam Hussein, infant and under-five mortality has roughly doubled in 10 years. It is possible that as many as half a million children have died who might otherwise have survived. The causes include the effect of sanctions, but are not confined to them. The cumulative impact of two damaging wars, the decline in Iraq's wealth that would have occurred whether or not sanctions were imposed, and the failure of the Iraqi government and the international community to target the health and nutrition of infants in Iraq have all contributed to the increase in mortality. The figures in northern Iraq, where agencies have been able to work under fewer restraints and where sanctions are perhaps less effective because of smuggling, are a startling contrast to those for Saddam's Iraq. They show a decline in mortality over the same period. The conclusion is not that the deaths of children in the center and south of the country can all be laid at Saddam's door, but nor is it that the deaths are simply a consequence of sanctions. It is rather that this is a tragedy with complex causes. The report's argument that oil for food income is not sufficient to deal with the problem and should be supplemented by additional aid is convincing. Its call for programmes that make child health a priority should be heeded. The great virtue of the report is that is shows there is much more that can be done now for Iraqi children. -- ------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To be removed/added, email firstname.lastname@example.org, NOT the whole list. Please do not sent emails with attached files to the list *** Archived at http://linux.clare.cam.ac.uk/~saw27/casi/discuss.html ***