Iraq

Iraq: An additional Church World Service-supported "All Our Children" project approved

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SITUATION: Medical needs, particularly for children, remain a priority in Iraq. Even before the war, increases in child mortality were due to diarrhea and malnutrition. As the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) said: "The situation in Iraq remains one in which the child's right to survival and health care, as decreed by the Conventions of Rights for the Child, remains subject to overwhelming risks to life and health generated by economic hardship."
Church World Service and its partners in the "All Our Children" (AOC) campaign are concentrating on the needs of the young and most vulnerable. Shipments to date for pediatric and maternity health facilities have included blankets, antibiotics, medical supplies (such as blood), sheets, wheelchairs, hygiene supplies, and sandbags to reinforce hospital walls weakened during hostilities.

RESPONSE: As part of the $1 million multi-agency AOC campaign, Church World Service is supporting an additional project -- for a total now of four -- to help meet medical needs in Iraq.

The new project provides $50,000 in support for medicines and medical equipment in several primary health clinics in greater Baghdad administered in partnership with the German-based non-governmental organization (NGO) Architects for People in Need-Iraq (APN). The clinics now being reactivated are: Habibiya 1, Habibiya, Al Safaa 1 and New Baghdad.

APN is providing immediate humanitarian aid for vulnerable people in acute crisis situations and implements sustainable development projects in countries with severe development deficits. The organization's particular expertise makes them a valuable partner for CWS and the All Our Children program efforts.

Objectives of this project include:

Responding to the basic needs of street children and children isolated from their families in Baghdad during the war and its immediate aftermath; to provide rudimentary assistance to children living in institutions, such as orphanages; and to children living in most vulnerable, unsupplied and highly under-privileged areas of Baghdad.

Beneficiaries: This program will assist 9,100 children in the first phase of the program, aiming particularly to identify and treat children with chronic medical conditions who are now going untreated.

This program includes supplying medicines and medical supplies to the clinics for such treatment. Among the 121 components include medical examination tables and instrument tables; refrigerators for medicine storage; supplies such as syringes; items such as eye drops, bandages and surgical gloves; numerous types of medicines.

Among the chronic diseases being reported among children: diarrhea and vomiting, believed caused by dysentery and amoebic dysentery; typhoid; epilepsy; iron deficiency; anemia; skin diseases, including scabies, chicken pox, measles, as well as burns by benzene or gas.

The "All Our Children" campaign is a $1 million, multi-agency effort to provide medical supplies to Iraqi children. The campaign continues the long-term commitment of CWS to assist with ongoing humanitarian needs in Iraq, regardless of the war's outcome.

Church World Service has provided more than $3.8 million since 1991 for humanitarian assistance in Iraq. During this time CWS has developed numerous relationships with local partners and churches in Iraq. It is through these relationships that CWS will be able to continue to provide assistance in an independent and impartial manner, basing the provision of the assistance on the needs of the recipient.

CWS has chosen not to provide assistance as part of an effort that is organized and/or coordinated by the United States Military. Fortunately, the local partners CWS work with are able to administer assistance at the community level independently from the U.S. military.

CWS will continue its commitment to meet the needs of the most vulnerable in Iraq with a particular focus on the unmet medical needs of children.