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Aid shipment for vulnerable Iraqi children due to arrive in Amman

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Amman, Jordan - A plane carrying medical supplies is due to arrive tonight in Amman, funded and co-ordinated by All Our Children (AOC), a consortium of non-governmental organizations that includes Oxfam America. The shipment of 6,000 pounds of equipment includes bandages, hypodermic needles, splints, surgical gloves, IV sets, and examination tables. Its destination is four clinics in Baghdad that primarily serve children.
The effects of sanctions, war and especially post-war looting has created an urgent health care crisis in Iraq as hospitals have been literally stripped bare of life-saving medicine and tools. Average Iraqis requiring medical help can't get it. Particularly at risk are those who are already vulnerable.

"There are thousands of children in Baghdad living apart from their parents and in need of assistance," said Mike Delaney, Director of Humanitarian Response at Oxfam America. "For many, their survival depends on medical care from local clinics."

In the aftermath of the war in Iraq, children who have been separated from their parents face extraordinary hardships. Exposed to hunger, disease, assault, and abduction, they are among the most vulnerable populations in the country. Some were living on the street or in institutions before the war; others became separated from their parents by the war itself.

Health clinics in Baghdad have attempted to serve some of these children, but many clinics were stripped of all equipment and supplies by looters in the chaos following the collapse of the Ba'ath Party.

The AOC consortium was formed shortly before the war with the purpose of providing resources to Iraqi children. During the conflict, it sent several tons of supplies by convoy to pediatric hospitals in central and southern Iraq. Along with helping keep local clinics functioning, AOC is now working with partners in Iraq to provide children on the street with relief supplies and the means to locate their families.

A tag team of organizations is rushing the medical aid shipment to Baghdad.

Oxfam provided partial funding and organized the logistics of the shipment.

German-based Architects for People in Need (APN) compiled a list of urgently needed medical supplies, in consultation with clinic staff in Baghdad.

Los Angeles-based Operation USA solicited donations and located the needed items within 48 hours.

Virgin Atlantic Airways carried the supplies from Los Angeles to London at no charge.

APN will move the shipment by truck from Amman to the clinics in Baghdad.