mercredi 13 février 2008

IRAQ: UN launches new emergency aid appeal

One of the primary purposes of the United Nations is the maintenance of international peace and security.


The Charter is the constituting instrument of the United Nations, setting out the rights and obligations of Member States, and establishing the Organization's organs and procedures.


The purposes of the United Nations, as set forth in the Charter, are to maintain international peace and security; to develop friendly relations among nations; to cooperate in solving international economic, social, cultural and humanitarian problems and in promoting respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; and to be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in attaining these ends.

The United Nations have failed to protect the rights of the Iraqi people and they continue to do so.

The role of the United Nations organization was to strongly condemn the illegal war on Iraq immediately it became clear that the US-UK intended to attack Iraq (a country which was not posing any threat to them). The role of the United Nations was to strongly condemn the illegal invasion of Iraq and the illegal occupation of Iraq. They have failed to do so.

The United Nations' duty is to demand the complete, immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the criminal US-UK forces from Iraq. It is the UNs' duty to demand that the US-UK governments pay compensation to ALL Iraqis for having destroyed the civil infrastructure of their country, for having killed over one million Iraqis (since March 2003), for having destroyed their homes, their crops, for having destroyed their perfectly functioning health and education systems, for having disbanded the Iraqi army with the intention to create complete chaos, for having made millions of widows and orphans, for having used forbidden weapons (DU, white phosphorus etc), for having polluted the water, the earth and the air of Iraq for future generations, for having destroyed or looted Iraq's archaeological sites, for having brought Iraq back to pre-industrial age, for having forced millions of Iraqis into exile, for having turned millions of Iraqis into beggars and pariahs...

Isn't it outrageous that Iraqis who should be one of the wealthiest people on the planet continue to suffer and continue to be humiliated in such a way?

BAGHDAD, 13 February 2008 (IRIN) - The Iraqi government has welcomed the US$265 million emergency aid appeal launched on 12 February by UN agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to provide urgent humanitarian relief to vulnerable Iraqis.

The aid will target health, nutrition, water, education, housing, food and protection issues. The emergency appeal by 14 UN agencies and 10 NGOs aims to help fill critical gaps over the next 12 months while the government expands its capacity to respond to people’s needs, the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) said. “The aid community is committed to helping as humanitarian needs in Iraq have risen sharply over the last two years. We have to respond rapidly to those people who need support,” David Shearer, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Iraq, said at the appeal launch in Baghdad.

The government said it was setting up a special government office to facilitate the work of humanitarian agencies in Iraq. Responding to the emergency appeal, government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said in a statement: “No one can deny that the general situation in Iraq is a very critical one… We are facing a catastrophe and crisis as a result of war and destruction of the infrastructure.” Al-Dabbagh said Iraqis needed donor help with capacity-building in government and private institutions. “We face a tremendous challenge in Iraq with the destruction of electricity, water and sanitation plants and other essential services,” he said.

Four million need food aid

The UN estimates that four million Iraqis inside the country are in need of food assistance as the Public Distribution System (PDS) is weakened, and only 40 percent of the population has reliable access to safe drinking water. At least 2.4 million people inside Iraq are believed to have been displaced from their homes.

Doubts expressed

An Iraqi expert has expressed doubt about the appeal. Ezzi Abdul-Jabbar Mohammed of the NGO Iraq Institute for Strategic Studies, told IRIN: “It is easy to call for such money but the question is how do you establish a comprehensive database of the most needy families?” “This mission is likely to be very tough for all the UN agencies, NGOs, as well as the Iraqi government, with widespread corruption in the country and danger lurking in every corner in Iraq,” Mohammed said.

He said that since the US-led invasion of the country in 2003Iraq has become a charity state; instead of getting to the bottom of its problems it only seeks financial aid - like morphine to ease its problems.”

Other aid operations

As a result of the difficulties faced by PDS in reaching all corners of Iraq to distribute monthly food and non-food items, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) in January 2008 launched a 12-month emergency operation worth US$126 million to provide food aid for up to 750,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) and some 360,000 people who have fled to Syria from Iraq.

On 12 February the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) launched an appeal in Geneva for 20.7 million Swiss francs (US$19 million) to provide food, other supplies and health care in Iraq. The aid will be distributed by the Iraqi Red Crescent Society (IRCS) to the 900,000 most vulnerable families on very low incomes, as well as single-parent families and widows over the next year, the IFRC said in a statement.

The IFRC said the IRCS was in the best position to distribute aid because it had over 3,200 employees and 10,000 volunteers.


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