CARE Canada launches Iraq emergency appeal

Ottawa - CARE Canada is deeply concerned about the tragic event that occurred today when war began in Iraq.
The humanitarian consequences of the conflict could be potentially catastrophic. The population of Iraq is extremely vulnerable due to the impact of past wars and twelve years of sanctions.

CARE is the only international non-governmental organization that has worked continuously in central and southern Iraq since 1991 and we remain on the ground at this time.

In light of the grave situation facing the Iraqi population, CARE Canada is launching an emergency appeal to raise much-needed funds for relief efforts.

CARE's 60 dedicated staff in Iraq run many projects focusing mainly on the well-being of children.

"The children of Iraq are innocent victims of war -- they need our compassion and commitment or the humanitarian cost of this war may be immense," says CARE Canada President / CEO A. John Watson.

''The safety and security of our staff in Iraq has always and continues to be our primary concern,'' Dr. Watson says.

As soon as it is safe for them to do so, our staff will work to deliver vital humanitarian assistance to children and other highly vulnerable groups. Our efforts will be concentrated on the critical areas of water, health and food.

CARE also have staff in Jordan to support our emergency relief efforts and assist possible large numbers of refugees fleeing Iraq.

''CARE appeals to the generosity of Canadians who have supported us so well in the past in times of humanitarian crisis,'' he says.

About CARE:

CARE is one of the world's largest international humanitarian organizations. CARE programs benefited more than 27 million people in more than 60 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean in the year 2003.


AlyKhan Rajani in Ottawa office 613.228.5678