Tuesday, July 31, 2007
[How can any American approve or see good of what they do in Iraq. Just these numbers and facts alone should show them the total wrongness of what they do, for any reason. Each and every American should be held accountable for these crimes against humanity and should have to face in all reality what they do and be treated as the crimminals they are.]
Al Jazeera Net
Up to eight million Iraqis require immediate emergency aid, with nearly half of the population living in "absolute poverty", according to a report by Oxfam and a coalition of Iraqi groups.
About four million people are lacking food and "in dire need of different types of humanitarian assistance", said the report, released in Amman on Monday.
"Iraqis are suffering from a growing lack of food, shelter, water and sanitation, health care, education, and employment," said the report, compiled by Oxfam and the NGO Co-ordination Committee in Iraq (NCCI).
The report also says two million people within the country are currently displced, while more than two million are refugees.
Most of those refugees have fled to Jordan and Syria.
Said Arikit, a spokesman for the UN mission in Iraq, told Al Jazeera the report painted a "grim picture".
"Many of the figures and percentages in the report were actually derived from UN sources… so we concur with the findings," he said.
"The government of Iraq is definitely the authority in Iraq and it bears responsibility for the welfare of its people."
Iraqi services have been left in crisis as most of those seeking refuge are professionals, according to the report.
"The 'brain drain' that Iraq is experiencing is further stretching already inadequate public services, as thousands of medical staff, teachers, water engineers, and other professionals are forced to leave the country," it said.
The entry of Iraqi refugees to neighbouring countries has placed a growing strain on health, education and social services in the two countries.
Only 60 per cent of the four million people who depend on food assistance have access to rations from the government-run public distribution system, down from 96 per cent in 2004, the report said.
The number of Iraqis without access to adequate water supplies has risen from 50 per cent to 70 per cent since 2003.
The lack of effective sanitation was also highlighted by the joint report, which said 80 per cent of people in Iraq did not have safe access.
The report said children were the hardest hit by the fall in living standards, stating child malnutrition rates have risen from 19 per cent before the US-led invasion in 2003 to 28 percent currently.
"Despite the constraints imposed by the government of Iraq, the UN and the international donors can do more to deliver humanitarian assistance to reduce unnecessary suffering," the report said.
One recommendation called for the government of Nuri al-Maliki, Iraq's prime minister, to decentralise the distribution of aid to local authorities, and make it easier for civil society organisations to operate.
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