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> 3) The humanitarian situation - unreported > > Curiously, the trend towards omitting data on the humanitarian situation > is also continuing... Thank you for the helpful summary Mil. Yes, there does seem to be a lot of politics taking place behind the scenes of these reports. For example, the recent FAO/WFP report following their final mission was held up for about a month and a half after being prepared. No reasons were apparently given for the delay. Possibly more significantly, the Unicef 1999 child mortality survey collected information on "cause of death" (the report is available from http://www.unicef.org/reseval/iraq.htm; see page 5 by the internal numbering or page 4 by the PDF file numbers). While mortality rate information has now been published, none of the cause of death information has been released, over a year later. > Reports on the level of child malnutrition were first reworded - chronic malnutrition became 'mild' malnutrition - and now are absent entirely. This, I think, is a different issue. Malnutrition is classified along two "dimension": severity and type. As to the first, someone can be "mildly malnourished", "malnourished" or "severely malnourished". I need to be slightly technical here, for a reason that will be seen in a second: technically, someone if "mildly malnourished" if they are one standard deviation or more below the average in a measure of nutrition. A standard deviation is a statistical measure of "distance". Someone is "malnourished" if they are two or more standard deviations below the average; someone is "severely malnourished" if they are three or more standard deviations below average. Therefore, everyone who is severely malnourished is also malnourished and mildly malnourished. Along the second dimension, of type someone can be: 1. "chronically malnourished" (or "stunted") if s/he is of below average height for her/his age; 2. "generally malnourished" (or "underweight") if s/he is of below average weight for her/his age; or 3. "acutely malnourished" (or "wasted") if s/he is of below average weight for her/his height. Therefore, "mild malnutrition" and "chronic malnutrition" are different categories, not just different wordings. The former refers to people one or more standard deviation below average in a measure of general (I think) malnutrition, weight for age. The latter refers to those two or more standard deviations below average in a measure of height for age. Our March 1999 background document reports a bit on some of the consequences of these forms of malnutrition at: http://www.cam.ac.uk/societies/casi/briefing/pamp_ed1.html#malnutrition Finally, I have had some difficulty in assessing this report wondering as well whether information has been intentionally kept out of it. Part of the background that I understand to lie behind this report is: Benon Sevan in the New York Office of the Iraq Programme has been trying for some time to reduce the "reporting requirements" of his office. Currently, the OIP produces a report every 90 days on the "oil for food" programme. The Security Council has repeatedly rejected these attempts to reduce the reporting (although has allowed, on occasion, reports and deadlines to be merged). The report that we have just been discussing is a "90 day report", the report released at the mid-point of an "oil for food" phase (which runs for 180 days). I therefore wonder whether the Sevan has decided that, although he may still be required to report every 90 days, he's not required to produce long reports that often. Perhaps he is thinking that the 180 day report will be the long one. It will therefore be interesting to see what that looks like. Against this hypothesis, one of my sources in the OIP tells me that the shortness of this report reflects uncertainty by the leadership of the OIP as to what _should_ be reported. My source did not suggest that this was a question of politics so much as one of what the report's "users" needed. I don't fully understand the situation but do hope that the above has been somewhat helpful. Best wishes, Colin Rowat ****************************************************** Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq http://www.casi.org.uk fax 0870 063 5022 are you on our announcements list? ****************************************************** 393 King's College www.cus.cam.ac.uk/~cir20 Cambridge CB2 1ST tel: +44 (0)7768 056 984 England fax: +44 (0)8700 634 984 -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://www.casi.org.uk