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[casi] CASI mentioned in the Independent

CASI also got a mention (for the same reason) in today's Independent (see

Best wishes,

voices uk

Plans for refugee crisis `inadequate'.

PREPARATIONS FOR a humanitarian crisis in Iraq are woefully inadequate
despite official estimates that two million civilians would be left
homeless by a military strike, aid officials say.

A confidential report drawn up by the United Nations estimates that an
American-led invasion would, in addition to those left homeless, put
up to 10 million civilians at risk of disease and hunger. The impact
of an invasion would probably be worse than that of the 1991 Gulf War,
the report says, because oil production would be halted, electricity
cut and the distribution of UN-supplied food severely disrupted.

"The bulk of the population is now totally dependent on the government
of Iraq for a majority, if not all, of their basic needs," says the
report, published online yesterday by Campaign Against Sanctions on
Iraq, a pressure group based at Cambridge University.

"Unlike the situation in 1991, they have no way of coping if they
cannot access them: the sanctions regime, if anything, has served to
increase dependence on the government as almost the sole provider." UN
preparations for dealing with the aftermath of a strike have been
secretive because the body has not wanted to be seen to be backing
America's demands for regime change.

Some preparations have been under way for some time: food, blankets
and tents are being stockpiled by the UN Children's Fund, the World
Food Programme and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in
countries such as Iran and Jordan. Last month, the UN launched an
appeal in Geneva, calling for 23m to fund its preparations.

Despite this, aid workers in the field do not believe enough is being
done. Peter Kessler, a spokesman for the UNHCR, said that having to
deal with crises such as that in the Ivory Coast had greatly
diminished supplies.

Officials say a potential crisis - in the form of the expected exodus
of Iraqi refugees and disruptions to food distribution, electricity,
water, fuel, waste disposal and public health - is made more likely by
Iraq's weakened condition.

Christopher Klein Beekman, a programme co-ordinator for Unicef in
Iraq, told the San Francisco Chronicle: "Iraq is already in crisis.
The capacity for withstanding shortages is very light. Malnourished
children, pregnant women have suffered the most and those are the ones
who will suffer the most during war, that's clear."

Some foreign aid officials here say their hands are tied because they
must wait until the completion of the UN arms inspections and the
progress of diplomacy before taking such action as stockpiling food,
water and shelter.

"No one in the international community can spend money on preparations
because that would give the message that war is inevitable," said
Majeed Waleed, the deputy manager for Care International, the largest
non-government organisation in Iraq. "It's a political statement. So
we can't do anything."

Source: INDEPENDENT 08/01/2003 P4

----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark Parkinson" <>
To: <>
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2003 2:57 AM
Subject: [casi] (Fwd) CASI gets a mention in the Washington Post

> Sorry
> My signature ran into the URL
> Mark Parkinson
> Bodmin
> Cornwall
> _______________________________________________
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