Iraq

Finland provides Iraq with 500,000 euros in aid

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STOCKHOLM, Nov 21, 2008 (Xinhua via COMTEX News Network) -- Finland's Ministry of Foreign Affairs is granting 500,000 euros (about 630,000 U.S. dollars) to Iraq to help improve living conditions of the people in the war- torn country, according to reports reaching here from Helsinki on Friday.

The funds would be channeled through the Red Cross and two Finnish relief organizations. They were intended to improve conditions for prisoners, bolster health care and the country's water system, said Finnish public broadcaster YLE.

The aid will go to help prevent torture, abuse or other inhumane treatment of prisoners in Iraq, reported YLE, adding that there would be efforts to arrange prison visits and correspondence to allow inmates to maintain family contacts.

The funds would also be used to repair damaged water and sewage systems in Iraq, because Iraq's poor were suffering health problems because they could not afford bottled water, YLE added.

YLE also pointed out that grants were to go toward training Iraqi engineers and health clinic staff. They are to be trained in wartime surgery, care of trauma patients and first aid.