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(says Margaret Hassan, director of CARE Iraq) Compadres, For some reason, very little seems to get posted about the situation of the human beings living and suffering in Iraq. So I am posting this report by CARE International - it covers the last three months. --Elga Sutter P.S. Recently, I did a keyword check on the archives. There were some 2,400 plus postings on Saddam Hussein as opposed to 148 postings on leukaemia. So I suppose your interests are political. http://www.careinternational.org.uk/cgi-bin/display_mediarelease.cgi?mr_id=226 Life in Iraq three months on 8 July 2003 CARE International reflects on the humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people three months after the fall of Baghdad *** Three months after the fall of Baghdad, Iraq still faces as many problems as it did immediately after the war, humanitarian agency CARE International said today. Iraqis need to feel that life is returning to normal, said Margaret Hassan, director of CARE Iraq, speaking on the eve of the three-month anniversary of the fall of Baghdad. They need to feel safe and they need basic services like water, healthcare and electricity. Restoration of security and public services are fundamental. Organisations like CARE continue to provide life-saving assistance and essential short-term aid amid the instability and uncertainty, but it is almost impossible to provide sustainable solutions. Unsafe streets affect all walks of life The security situation in Iraq is getting worse, not better. It is the biggest impediment to delivering effective humanitarian aid. Murders and carjackings are common. The frenzy of looting that followed the war is over, but theft is still a serious problem for aid agencies. In one healthcare centre, staff asked CARE not to supply high-protein biscuits for malnourished children for fear that these supplies would attract looters. CARE has been improving the security of centres by repairing doors, windows and locks. CARE continues to deliver aid in this environment, but it is dangerous. We are now working throughout the country and are starting work in Ramadi, one of the most unsafe regions. Humanitarian workers travelling about the country are at risk of injury or death from crossfire, banditry and carjackings. Most recent attacks have targeted Coalition forces, but CARE staff take every precaution to avoid being caught in any danger, travelling in unmarked vehicles outside Baghdad and at restricted times. Without electricity, water and communications, people suffer Water, waste treatment, hospitals and factories in Iraq all depend on electricity. The risk of a health crisis grows as clean drinking water remains scarce, temperatures routinely exceed 40 degrees and hospitals and healthcare centres struggle to provide treatment to sick people. Public anxiety and dissatisfaction are growing in the absence of any clear signs that services will be restored. It is essential that Iraqis working in the civil service are paid fully and regularly by the Coalition Provisional Authority. Without them, public services will continue to work poorly and nothing will be achieved. Since 23 June, electricity shortages in Baghdad have been severe. In many parts of the city, there was no electricity at all for 72 hours and, since then, many people have had electricity for just 2 hours per day. There is also no functioning communications network. Iraqis remain isolated from the outside world. Hospitals and communities need clean water and healthcare now. The risk of cholera and other disease outbreaks remains high. WHO and a handful of NGOs like CARE are trying to prevent epidemics by establishing surveillance systems, rehabilitating laboratory testing centres and re-establishing immunisation programmes. The UN and NGOs are working to ensure clean water runs in hospitals and communities. CARE and the ICRC have completed repairs to more than 60 water installations around the country. CARE is also training operators in 80 water treatment installations and six sewage treatment plants in the 14 governorates of central and southern Iraq. However, longer-term repairs to be undertaken by the Provisional Authority will take at least a year. CARE has conducted emergency repairs in 100 primary healthcare centres in Iraq in the past three months, which has allowed them to open their doors and function at the most basic level. Directly after bombing ceased, we also delivered two-months worth of food and hygiene supplies to all 97 hospitals in the centre and south of Iraq. This is emergency support. So much more is needed. I wish I could say that the suffering has ended, but the problems that were there immediately following the war are still making life difficult for the Iraqi people, said Hassan, who has lived in Iraq for more than 30 years. Without security and basic services, we will only see things getting worse for everyone. It doesn't need to be this way. The people of Iraq have suffered enough already. CARE in Iraq: CARE International established a presence in Iraq in 1991 following the Gulf War. It is the only international NGO to have maintained continuous programmes in the centre and south of Iraq. Since 1991, CAREs programmes have provided humanitarian assistance to over seven million people - one-third of the Iraqi population - focusing on rebuilding, repairing and maintaining water and sanitation systems and rebuilding and refurbishing hospitals and clinics. ### _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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