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Hain claims no reliable data on malnutrition

Dear friends,
My MP, Sidney Chapman has put a few written questions(fairly watered down ones, I'm afraid) to Peter Hain. He got the following replies, which included the claim by Hain that no reliable malnutrition figures exist for the centre/south of Iraq.
The UN FAO/WFP report released in September is therefore by implication dismissed as unreliable, though with a typical failure to produce any evidence why this should be so. 
Best wishes,    Tim 
Written Answers

13 NOVEMBER 2000


Sir Sydney Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State
for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a
statement  on  the  Government's  policy  on  the  UN
arrangements to ensure that goods imported into Iraq
under  the  oil-for-food  scheme  are  for  the  agreed
purposes.                                        [137680]

Mr. Hain: The UK Government does all it can to
ensure that goods imported into Iraq under UNSCR 986
are used for agreed purposes. Our experts scrutinise all
contracts carefully to ensure that they fall within the terms
of the relevant UN resolutions. We frequently discuss
monitoring of Oil for Food goods in Iraq with the office
of Iraq programme and, where goods are of concern, ask
for specific in-country monitoring. Of particular concern
are goods identified by UNMOVIC as of potential use in
weapons of mass destruction programmes. We continually
call for the Iraqi regime to allow UNMOVIC into Iraq
to verify Iraq's compliance with its obligation to halt its
weapons of mass destruction programme.

Sir Sydney Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State
for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he
has made of the number of children in Iraq who are
chronically malnourished and the proportion of the total
number of children this represents.            [137682]

Mr. Hain: There are no reliable figures on child
malnutrition in the centre and south of Iraq. Despite UN
efforts, the Iraqi regime has refused to cooperate with a
group of independent experts appointed by the UN to
prepare a comprehensive report and analysis of the
humanitarian situation in Iraq. In the meantime the UK
continues to advocate and support initiatives through the
oil  for  food  programme  to  better  target  the  UN's
humanitarian effort to help the most vulnerable in Iraq.
This has already improved the situation on the ground. In
northern Iraq, for example, where the UN rather than Iraqi
authorities  run  the  humanitarian  programme,  infant
mortality is now lower than before  sanctions were

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