Iraq

In Iraq: Canadian fact-finding mission to report on humanitarian situation

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Dr Eric Hoskins, Dr Samantha Nutt and eight other experts on the civilian impact of war are currently on a humanitarian assessment mission to Iraq. They have been in Baghdad since Monday, January 20, and will go to Kerbala on Thursday, January 23, and Basra on Saturday, January 25 before returning to Canada on Monday, January 27th, 2003.
The independent fact-finding team is funded by 20 Canadian charities and non-governmental organizations, and will include Canadian and international experts on health, food security, the psychological impact of war on children, and disaster preparedness. They will report on the current humanitarian state of Iraq's more than 10 million children, as well as the possible humanitarian consequences of war on the civilian population.

Dr Hoskins, team leader, is a medical doctor with 15 years of experience working in war zones. This will be his 30th trip to Iraq. Dr Hoskins coordinated a similar assessment following the 1991 Gulf War with the Harvard Study Team, and was awarded the Lester Pearson Peace Medal in 1993 and the Governor General's Meritorious Service Cross in 1999 for his humanitarian work.

Dr Nutt has nearly 10 years of experience in war zones, focusing on maternal and child health, and is a staff physician at Sunnybrook and Women's Health Science Centre in Toronto. Her work with civilians in armed conflict was recently acknowledged when she was named to the Maclean's Honour Roll.

Drs. Hoskins and Nutt will be available for satellite phone interviews while in Iraq. Interviews in French are also possible. They also have considerable experience in writing for newspapers and magazines. The team will hold a press conference shortly after their return to Canada.

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:

Aubrey Charette, War Child Canada
Tel: (416) 971-7474
Cellular: (416) 949-0445
aubrey@warchild.ca