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7 January 2003, 07:00 GMT. For immediate release.
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Confidential UN Document Predicts Humanitarian Emergency in Event of War on Iraq
A "strictly confidential" UN document, written to assist with UN contingency planning in the event of war with Iraq, predicts high civilian injuries, an extension of the existing nutritional crisis, and "the outbreak of diseases in epidemic if not pandemic proportions." The existence of the draft document, entitled "Likely Humanitarian Scenarios" and dated 10th December 2002, was first reported in the Times (London) on 23rd December 2002, but this is the first time it has been made publicly accessible. It is available at http://www.casi.org.uk/info/undocs/war021210.html. [A summary of the document and a 4-page booklet about it are also available.]
The document focuses on the likely humanitarian consequences of a range of anticipated military scenarios. It estimates that:
The document also rejects comparisons with humanitarian outcomes of both the 2001 Afghanistan and 1991 Gulf conflicts, since the existing sanctions-induced humanitarian situation in Iraq has produced a population in which 16 million (60%) "have no other means with which to provide for other essential requirements" other than monthly government food rations [para 2,4,11]
Notes for editors:
1) The document is available at http://www.casi.org.uk/info/undocs/war021210.html (transcribed version) and http://www.casi.org.uk/info/undocs/war021210scanned.html (scanned version - 1Mb PDF file), on the website of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq (CASI). It was provided to Nathaniel Hurd by a source at the UN, who authorised the publication of these sections of the document. CASI is a Cambridge-based NGO which exists to raise awareness of the effects of sanctions on Iraq, and campaigns on humanitarian grounds for the lifting of non-military sanctions. CASI does not support or have ties to the government of Iraq. Accompanying notes by Nathaniel Hurd are at http://www.casi.org.uk/info/undocs/war021210notes.html
2) Please note this UN document is a draft. Estimates and other content may have since been revised. Additionally, several paragraphs and tables have been deleted at the request of the individual who released the document, including the entirety of page 3.
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