Iraq: Operation USA President's message

News and Press Release
Originally published
Dear Friends of Operation USA:

Like people of all political persuasions, you have supported Operation USA's efforts to help those in need - no matter who they are, where they live, or under which form of government.

Operation USA, like most international humanitarian agencies, is worried about the results of an all-out war in Iraq. Like our colleagues, we feel a moral imperative to help those in need, especially children and women.

This morning I received an advance copy of a document drafted by a United Nations team charged with pre-planning for the worst. Here are a few of the points the team made as to the likely results of a conflict using a wide range of 21st Century weapons:

  • 100,000 direct civilian casualties; 400,000 indirect casualties;

  • 3 million people will require emergency feeding as a result of depleted nutritional status, of whom 2 million will be children and 1 million pregnant or lactating women;

  • 900,000 refugees will spill over Iraq's borders with Turkey, Jordan, Syria, Iran and Kuwait, of which 100,000 will need immediate assistance with food, shelter, medical care and clothing.

  • 5.4 million will need medicines for ongoing health needs which can't be met by a nonexistent government, or new government still in formation.
These are short-term requirements. The United Nations report predicts long-term humanitarian needs and those numbers are even more frightening, running as high as 18-24 million people needing various types of goods and services.

A Harvard Medical School team estimated that over 500,000 children had perished in Iraq since the first Gulf War as a result of the lack of medicines and safe drinking water. That was 5 years ago. The figure now most likely approaches 1 million before any new hostilities take place. The report does not assign blame or choose sides between the failings of the Iraqi regime and the very tight international embargo on Iraq.

Operation USA has two large supply warehouses on the West Coast containing essential supplies to restock hospitals and clinics in Iraq and for refugees elsewhere in the region.

We are arranging an emergency airlift of some of these supplies, to occur as soon as the dust clears if we go to war. Should conflict be avoided, these supplies are still unavailable in Iraqi health facilities and would be sent there with everyone's approval.

Why Operation USA?

We do not accept U.S. government funding. We have worked in the Middle East for more than 20 years. We are independent of political motives... and we have the supplies and know-how to get them delivered to those who will use them exclusively for the benefit of those most in need.

Now would be an excellent time for you, your family, your foundation or your company to provide us with the financial support we need to make a difference to those whose lives are far more fragile than our own...


Richard M. Walden,
President & CEO