Global Policy Forum

Archived Articles


Humanitarian Consequences of the War and Occupation of Iraq

Archived Highlighted Articles

  General Guidance for Interaction Between UN Personnel and Military Actors
in the Context of the Crisis in Iraq (March 21, 2003)

In conflicts the coordination between humanitarian and military actors is essential for the timely and effective delivery of humanitarian assistance and to help ensure the protection of civilians. This document contains guidelines for UN personnel to interact with military staff in Iraq.

  Internal UN Documents on the Humanitarian Impact of War on Iraq (February 13, 2003)

The UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) anticipates that 30 % of Iraqi children under 5, or 1.26 million, "would be at risk of death from malnutrition" in the event of war. The confidential draft questions the ability of the UN agencies and other aid organizations to face such a humanitarian emergency. (CASI/CESR)

  Our Common Responsibility: The Impact of a New War on Iraqi Children (January 30, 2003)

This report was prepared by an international study team, based on interviews and data collected in Iraq in January 2003. The experts conclude that children in Iraq are far more vulnerable to the effects of a new war than they were before the Gulf War of 1991, and that Iraqi children are currently suffering significant psychological harm from the threat of war hanging over them. (War Child Canada)


Unsatisfied Basic Needs Mapping and Living Standards in Iraq (2006)

This report released by the United Nations Development Programmereveals that one-third of Iraqis live in poverty and five percent of the population is living in extreme poverty. According to the study, the damaged infrastructure is one of the most important factors that create poor living conditions in the country, with 85 percent of all households lacking a stable source of electricity, 70 percent struggling to dispose of garbage and 40 percent lacking adequate sanitation facilities. In order to diminish poverty, the report stresses the need to improve the security situation and to balance national priorities and the requirements of the global markets, instead of the fast privatization of the economy.

Iraqi Red Crescent: US Is Biggest Humanitarian Threat (December 16, 2006)

Dr. Jamal al- Karbouli vice president of the Iraqi Red Crescent has said that harassment from the US-led military poses a greater problem to its relief operations than attacks by Iraqi insurgents. Dr. al Karbouli further stated that Red Crescent offices had been "repeatedly attacked" by US-led forces. The Geneva Conventions on warfare – that protect the Red Crescent as an international humanitarian organization – prohibit such acts and consider them illegal. (Associated Press)

Warning Over Spiralling Iraq Refugee Crisis (December 7, 2006)

A report by Refugees International states that surging violence in Iraq has created "what is becoming the biggest refugee crisis in the world." Furthermore, the Washington-based organization criticizes the United States and its allies for not doing enough to ease the humanitarian crisis, which has seen 1.8 million Iraqis flee their homeland and seek refuge in neighboring Arab countries. Syria and Jordan have each welcomed over 700,000 Iraqi refugees, yet diminishing tolerance and a strain on resources means that such generosity "is wearing thin," creating the need for an international response. (Guardian)

"The Silent Treatment": Fleeing Iraq, Surviving in Jordan - Human Rights Watch Report (November 2006)

According to Human Rights Watch, Jordan has not protected Iraqi refugees properly on its soils, nor sought international assistance on their behalf. Jordanian officials have reportedly denied Iraqi asylum seekers entry at the border and deported them, in violation of international law. Human Rights Watch calls on Jordan, its neighbors, as well as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to establish a more realistic and effective protection regime.

Sahar Ahmed, Iraq: "We Need To Leave This Country As Soon As Possible" (November 28, 2006)

Of the 30,000 Palestinians living in Iraq prior to the 2003 US-led invasion, an estimated 5,000 to 6,000 remain in the country, according to this Integrated Regional Information Networksarticle. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees suggests that the remainder have either perished in conflict or fled to nearby countries. However, with neighboring countries now closing their borders, some Palestinians must remain in Iraq. There they face "an almost certain death" at the hands of Iraqi militias, who resent the privileges Palestinians enjoyed under the government of Saddam Hussein.

Medics Beg For Help As Iraqis Die Needlessly (October 20, 2006)

18,000 physicians have fled Iraq since the 2003 US-led invasion, with a further 2,000 killed in sectarian violence, revealing the disintegration of Iraq's health care system. Furthermore, Iraqi doctors claim that, with proper medical facilities, they could have prevented half of all civilian deaths. Global health campaign group Medact reveals that only four of the 180 health clinics the US hoped to build by the end of 2005 have been completed, exposing the failure of US reconstruction projects. (Independent)

Iraq Displacement (October 13, 2006)

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees(UNHCR) states that there are 1.5 million internally displaced people in Iraq, with more than 365,000 fleeing their homes since February 2006. Furthermore, 1.6 million Iraqis now reside outside their country, mostly in Jordan and Syria, due to sectarian violence and ongoing conflict. UNHCR says that the refugees present "an enormous humanitarian challenge and extreme hardship for both the displaced and the Iraqi families trying to help them in host communities."

Hidden Victims of A Brutal Conflict: Iraq's Women (October 8, 2006)

Iraqi women face constant harassment, discrimination and even death at the hands of militias, with the number of women who die violently in Iraq increasing every month. The country's post-war constitution undermines women's rights and many Iraqi women live in fear of their husbands, as well as Sunni and Shia Islamist militants, who impose strict new prohibitions on their dress and behavior. Sexual crimes against women have also increased. The Iraqi Women's Network states that "rape is being used as a weapon in the sectarian war to humiliate families from rival communities." (Observer)

The Assyrians: Ignored Among Fears of an Iraqi Civil War (October 5, 2006)

One of the world's most ancient religious groups, Iraq's Assyrian Christians are at risk of annihilation due to rising sectarian violence and persecution. 60,000 Christians have fled Iraq since the 2003 US-led invasion - their exodus induced by terrorist bombing campaigns of Christian churches by Islamists, who accuse them of collaborating with coalition forces. The author of this Daily Star Lebanonpiece urges the world community to recognize the rights of the Assyrians, and demands that Iraq honor its constitutional provisions that allow Christians to practice their religion free from interference.

The Humanitarian War Myth (October 1, 2006)

This Washington Postpiece points out that "humanitarian intervention," one of the justifications used by the coalition for the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, leads to large scale human rights abuses, civilian casualties and sectarian violence. Author Eric Posner argues that all interventions based on such justifications fail to "liberate citizens from tyrants." By replacing old dictators with foreign occupying forces, intervening countries further increase tensions and the risk of civil war, and subject civilians to a state of constant warfare.

Analysts Say Violence Will Continue to Increase (September 22, 2006)

The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq reports that murder, torture and honor crimes against women in Iraq has significantly increased since the US-led occupation in 2003. The country's mortuary states that more than 20,600 Iraqis have lost their lives in violent attacks since January, and many of the victim's bodies bear signs of severe torture. Yet these official fatality numbers may actually understate true figures as many deaths go unreported. (Integrated Regional Information Networks)

Nowhere to Flee: The Perilous Situation of Palestinians in Iraq (September 2006)

34,000 Palestinian refugees, who have been residing in Iraq for decades, must now flee their homes due to escalating sectarian violence, says this Human Rights Watchreport. The predominantly Sunni Palestinians face new persecution from Shia militias, who resent the minority group for the privileges they and other Sunnis received under Saddam Hussein's rule. Despite their status as refugees, Iraqi Palestinians have nowhere to flee as countries in the region keep their borders firmly closed.

Voices: Life in Samarra and Falluja (August 22, 2006)

US military assaults on Samarra and Fallujah may have ceased but their humanitarian consequences continue to disrupt daily life in Iraq. Residents must endure constant blackouts, poor quality drinking water, rising gas prices and a failing healthcare system. As this BBCinterview with four Iraqis living under the US occupation reveals, many citizens believe the sustained presence of Multinational Forces causes this disruption and places their lives in jeopardy.

Inquiry Suggests Marines Excised Files on Killings (August 18, 2006)

US marines involved in the killing of 24 Iraqis in Haditha in November 2005 allegedly destroyed, concealed and withheld evidence. A high-level military investigation has revealed that marines tampered with an official company logbook of the unit involved, and failed to give investigators an incriminating video evidence of the attack. In addition, officers in the Second Marine Division did not thoroughly investigate the killings, and had reportedly "created a climate that minimized the importance of Iraqi lives." (New York Times)

Iraqi Medic Tells How He 'Found Family Slaughtered by US Troops' (August 7, 2006)

A military hearing has examined testimony of how three US soldiers raped an Iraqi girl and killed three of her relatives. The hearing, expected to last several days, will decide whether prosecutors can take the case to a court martial, in which the accused could face the death penalty. The case, one of several instances of abuses by US troops, has outraged Iraqis and further tarnished the reputation of the US-led occupation forces. (Independent)

Officers Allegedly Pushed 'Kill Counts' (August 3, 2006)

This Los Angeles Timesarticle reveals the deeply troubling behavior of US troops in Iraq. Evidence from military hearings points to a pervasive "culture of racism and unrestrained violence" among Army units. Commanders reportedly issue illegal orders to shoot all military-aged Iraqi men and encourage competition among soldiers to rack up "enemy kills." These allegations indicate that culpability may come from further up the military chain of command.

Iraq Becomes a Nation of Refugees (July 21, 2006)

Two months after the formation of a US-backed national unity government, tens of thousands more Iraqis have fled their homes. The sectarian violence looks ever more like civil war, with data from the Ministry of Migration and the Displaced showing Sunnis and other minorities leaving the south, and Shiites escaping from areas around Baghdad and the north. Iraq's most prominent Shiite spiritual leader, the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, joined the United Nations in warning that a rise in bloodshed and "campaigns of displacement" threaten Iraq's future. (Scotsman)

The Hidden War on Women in Iraq (July 13, 2006)

Since the US-led invasion of Iraq, the reported incidence of sexual assault and violence against women has accelerated markedly. In March 2006, a group of five US soldiers allegedly raped and murdered a young Iraqi girl, while US prison officers at Abu Ghraib regularly subject women prisoners to abuse. "Local gangs" kidnap women and force them into prostitution. More generally, the occupation has humiliated, endangered, and repressed Iraqi women in ways not widely publicized in the mainstream media. (TomDispatch)

Insecurity, Under-Funding Threaten Children's Health in Basra (July 9, 2006)

Dozens of children have died of relatively common diseases since January 2006 due to a lack of medicine, high temperatures and poor water quality. Saving Children from War, a Vienna-based aid agency, has noted a lack of essential supplies and a serious shortage of doctors and nurses. In Basra alone, dehydration, pneumonia, meningitis, malnutrition and typhoid have killed about 90 children. (Integrated Regional Information Networks)

US Occupation Adding to "Acute" Health Crisis (July 7, 2006)

The author of this Uruknetarticle depicts the current situation in Iraq against the backdrop of its recent history. During the 1970s, Iraq had state of the art technology, a high level of medical care and contributed to numerous international programs. The first Gulf War and a decade of sanctions took a heavy toll on civilians. However, the US-led invasion has further exacerbated the humanitarian situation, all but destroying major cities, reducing residents to refugees and leaving them with acute shortages of water, fuel and power.

US Marines Take Over Iraq Hospital (July 6, 2006)

US Marines have raided the Ramadi General Hospital as part of their heavy assault on the Sunni Arab city. The US-led siege has forced experienced physicians to flee, depleted critical supplies and led to a dramatic rise in traumatic war-related injuries. The operation against the civilian hospital violates the First Geneva Convention which prohibits attacks on medical establishments and vehicles. (Associated Press)

UN Mission Concerned at Upsurge in People Displaced by Recent Violence (June 28, 2006)

The UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) reports that violence and tensions have uprooted around 150,000 people across the war-torn country since March 2006, bringing the total of internally displaced persons (IDPs) to 1.3 million. US-led military operations in Ramadi alone have forced 3,200 families to flee to neighboring towns. UNAMI argues that Iraq's long-term stability depends on the safe return of displaced Iraqis to their homes. (UN News)

If Wanton Murder Is Essential to the US Campaign in Iraq, it's Time to Leave (June 26, 2006)

In addition to atrocities committed in Haditha, Balad, Ishaqi and Hamdania, US forces have killed "untold thousands" of Iraqi civilians in conditions considered "insufficiently atrocious" to be worthy of investigation. These incidents are the "natural and inevitable consequence" of the occupation, in which dead women, children and disabled people "are the price you pay for being invaded." As this Guardianarticle states, those responsible for such acts remain in the White House, while the many embroiled in the conflict are "brutalized or murdered."

Rebuilding? Not for Fallujah (June 25, 2006)

One and a half years after the US military launched Operation Phantom Fury against the city of Fallujah, residents tell Inter Press Serviceof ongoing suffering, lack of jobs, little reconstruction and continuing violence. Iraqis lack medical supplies and equipment and have poor access to water, electricity, fuel, and telephone services. One third of the city's residents remain displaced in the outskirts of Fallujah, "living in abandoned schools and government buildings." In addition, security has "eaten up as much as 25 percent of reconstruction funding," and corruption and overcharging by US contractors has reportedly siphoned off even more.

Line Between War, Murder Tough to Draw (June 22, 2006)

The US military has charged a number of Marines with the murders of Iraqi civilians and detainees, stirring further criticism of US troops' behavior. This Christian Science Monitor article points out these charges are nothing new in Iraq. Only a small proportion of cases have been investigated, but at least 11 US servicemen and eight British soldiers have faced murder charges since the US-led invasion of 2003. With few exceptions, past cases have yielded relatively light punishments, and have largely escaped public notice.

Another US Cover-Up Surfaces in Iraq (June 13, 2006)

In the wake of the Haditha massacre, US troops reportedly killed two women in Samarra and attempted to hide evidence of their responsibility. US snipers shot the two women who were traveling in a car, claiming they failed to stop at a check point. Other reports claim the area was completely unmarked. The US military offered the brother of one of the victims US$5000 in compensation, as part of the US$19 million in total compensation paid to Iraqis – an indication that "these kinds of killings by the Americans happen daily in Iraq." This Inter Press Servicearticle calls for a "truly independent investigation" of the killing and cover-up, "rather than one by the US military."

Return to Ishaqi: The Pentagon's Shaky Self-Exoneration (June 3, 2006)

The Pentagon has released a report exonerating US soldiers for the alleged slaying of civilians in the Iraqi town of Ishaqi, which left 11 people dead, including children. As photographic evidence, testimony of villagers, Iraqi officials and Western new agencies contradict US accounts, Uruknetcalls for an independent investigation.

Uprooted Iraqis Add to Woes of War-Torn Land (June 2, 2006)

Military operations have uprooted many Iraqis since the US-led invasion of March 2003. Fear of violence, a lack of government resources and heightened political, religious and ethnic tensions have forced more than 100,000 people to give up their livelihoods and homes and become wards of the state or charities. The need to accommodate newcomers has further taxed overburdened local governments, and aid workers say new camps crop up faster than they can keep track. (Los Angeles Times)

Countless My Lai Massacres in Iraq (May 30, 2006)

US Marines allegedly slaughtered at least 15 civilians in Haditha in November, 2005, including seven women and three children. The mainstream media refer to the Haditha massacre as "Iraq's My Lai", however, this article argues that "trigger-happy American soldiers" in fact slaughter Iraqi civilians daily, under the "shoot first ask questions later" policy. While high-ranking members of the Bush administration blame policy failures on a "few bad apples," they are ultimately responsible for the occupation. (truthout)

Malnutrition among Iraqi Children Alarming: Survey (May 15, 2006)

Ten percent of Iraqi children suffer from acute malnourishment, while fifteen percent of the total population requires humanitarian aid, according to a government survey backed by the World Food Program and UNICEF. Decades of conflict and economic sanctions have devastated Iraqi society, while the ongoing US occupation has further compounded Iraq's humanitarian woes. From 2002 – before the US-led invasion – to 2005, acute malnourishment amongst children more than doubled from four percent to nine percent. (Reuters)

Stolen Away (April 23, 2006)

Though "virtually nonexistent under Saddam," sex trafficking in Iraq has intensified under the US occupation. While exact figures are unknown, the Organization for Women's Freedom in Iraq estimates that 2,000 women and girls – some as young as 14 – have been kidnapped since 2003, and many are sold to brothels in Yemen, Syria, Jordan and other neighboring countries. Those who manage to escape are often shunned by their families and sometimes sent to jail. (Time)

Iraq Unrest Forces 65,000 to Flee (April 13, 2006)

Sectarian violence and intimidation have forced 65,000 Iraqis to flee their homes, Iraq's Ministry for Displacement and Migration estimates. The Iraqi Red Crescent has been able to provide food, water, blankets and kerosene to roughly 5,000 families living in makeshift camps, less than half the total of displaced families. Though the UN maintains a limited presence in Iraq, it is trying to secure emergency funds in anticipation of the growing number of internally displaced persons. (BBC)

Iraq Mess Is Literally Making People Sick (April 10, 2006)

Despite severe health problems facing both Iraqis and US military veterans exposed to depleted uranium (DU) during the 1991 Gulf War, the US military has fired an even greater quantity of DU munitions – over 2,200 tons – on Iraqi cities and people since the 2003 invasion. As a radioactive substance, DU "wreaks havoc" on DNA and RNA, causing cancer and genetic mutations over longer periods, along with numerous painful symptoms following immediate exposure. Nonetheless, the Pentagon denies that DU causes severe harm, and continues to use DU munitions in Iraq. (Uruknet)

Cut in Food Rations Hurting Poor Iraqis (April 3, 2006)

Iraq's poorest citizens suffer the most from economic restructuring and the elimination of basic subsidies. Backed by the US and the International Monetary Fund, the Iraqi government has begun eliminating food rations as part of the transition to a free market economy. Nearly all Iraqis, approximately 96 percent, benefit from food subsidies – a result of crippling economic sanctions upheld by the US and UK. According to the UN's World Food Program, one fourth of the Iraqi population depends on food rations for survival, and cannot meet their food requirements without them. (Environmental News Service)

A Terrible War Is Being Waged on Iraqi Children (March 10, 2006)

Following years of economic sanctions and three years of US occupation, Iraq's children have suffered tremendously. More and more children have been orphaned due to violence, while poverty has led to increases in homelessness and child labor. As Amal Kashf Al-Ghitta, a member of the Iraqi National Assembly and director of the Islamic Foundation for Women and Children points out, the physical and psychological conditions facing Iraqi children are leading to a "new generation of disorder." (Daily Star - Lebanon)

Iraq Civilian Death Toll ‘Highest Since End of War' (March 9, 2006)

According to a study by Iraq Body Count (IBC), 2005 has been the deadliest year yet of the war in Iraq. From March 20, 2005 until March 1, 2006, IBC estimates that 12,617 Iraqis were killed, up from 11,312 the previous year. While most Iraqi casualties were initially attributable to US forces, sectarian violence has led to a growing number of Iraqi casualties. As IBC co-founder John Sloboda points out, "the initial act that sparked this cycle of violence is the illegal US-led invasion" which resulted in 7,312 civilian deaths in the first 42 days alone. (Scotsman)

Iraq's Crisis of Scarred Psyches (March 6, 2006)

Following Saddam Hussein's authoritarian rule and decades of economic sanctions, the US occupation of Iraq has compounded the psychological scarring of many Iraqi citizens. Given the tattered state of Iraq's health sector, the full scope of mental health disorder remains unknown, but experts estimate that millions of Iraqis suffer from psychiatric trauma, with a sharp increase coming after the US-led invasion in 2003. Only 75 psychiatrists remain in Iraq, or 1 for every 300,000 Iraqis, and none specialize in child psychiatry. (Washington Post)

Willy Peter (January 2006)

This article examines the US military's use of white phosphorus, an incendiary weapon commonly known as "Willy Peter," in the November 2004 attacks on Fallujah. Though white phosphorous munitions are banned under the 1980 Geneva Convention on Biological and Chemical Weapons, the US has not signed the agreement and instead classifies white phosphorous as a "psychological" weapon. As ZMagpoints out, there is nothing psychological about a weapon that melts skin to the bone while damaging the nervous system and blocking the circulation of blood.


Poor Iraqis Face Struggle for Survival (November 18, 2005)

The US-led occupation has not brought prosperity to Iraq, but rather increased poverty and economic disparity. Ongoing security concerns have thwarted investment, while high unemployment has forced many impoverished Iraqis to sift through trash in search of food and salvageable goods. (Reuters)

US Admits Using White Phosphorous in Fallujah (November 16, 2005)

Despite initial denials, the US has admitted to using white phosphorus, a powerful burn-inducing chemical, as a weapon during the November 2004 assault on Fallujah. US officials had previously claimed that white phosphorus was only used to provide smokescreens and illumination. Though not directly listed as a chemical weapon, some experts say the explicit use of white phosphorus against people would classify it as a chemical weapon. The US-led invasion of Iraq was largely justified on the grounds that former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein possessed and used chemical weapons. (Guardian)

UN Report: Coalition Forces in Iraq Hold 11,559 (November 14, 2005)

According to a United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) report covering the period of September 1 to October 31, both US- and Iraqi-led military forces have had a negative impact on human rights. The report criticizes US and Iraqi armed forces for arresting doctors and occupying medical facilities in Anbar province, in violation of international human rights law. To view the report, click here. (Associated Press)

A Name that Lives in Infamy (November 10, 2005)

In November 2004, US forces led a massive assault on the Iraqi city of Fallujah. While the US claims that the majority of the estimated 2,000 casualties were insurgents, Iraqi NGOs and medical workers say that the offensive killed as many as 6,000 civilians. In addition, US-led forces cut off water, food, and power supplies to the city, bombed the main hospital, and used incendiary weapons such as white phosphorous. As the Guardianpoints out, the atrocities committed in Fallujah are "a symbol of unconscionable brutality."

US 'Uses Incendiary Arms' in Iraq (November 8, 2005)

An Italian news report provides evidence that US forces dropped massive quantities of white phosphorous on the city of Fallujah during the November 2004 assault. The chemical, which US officials claim was used to illuminate the night sky, produces serious burns capable of dissolving flesh. As a US soldier stationed in Fallujah at the time noted, "anyone within a radius of 150 meters is done for." Though Protocol III of the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons prohibits the use of white phosphorous as a weapon, the US is not a signatory. (BBC)

UN's Humanitarian Activities in Iraq Quietly Save Lives (October 19, 2005)

Amid ongoing chaos, UN humanitarian relief is making steady progress in Iraq. Based on the results of a survey given to 22,000 Iraqis, relief initiatives have targeted priority issues of water, sanitation, education and health care provision. Cholera and polio have been eradicated, malaria is under control, and nearly 8 million children are in school. (UN News)

UN Food Envoy Says Coalition Breaking Law in Iraq (October 14, 2005)

In a press statement on World Food Day, UN Special Rapporteur for the Right to Food Jean Ziegler accuses US and British forces of violating the Geneva Conventions. Specifically, Ziegler highlights the practice of cutting supplies of food and water to Iraqi civilians so as to encourage them to flee before major military attacks. The Geneva Conventions prohibit the deprivation of food and water as a weapon of war. Ziegler hopes the General Assembly will "condemn this strategy of the coalition forces" when he presents his report in New York on October 27, 2005. (Reuters)

Iraq Health Care So Bad That Doctors Want Out (October 5, 2005)

Iraq's health care system is in dire shape. Hospitals lack even the most basic medicines and equipment, while many doctors and hospital staff are exposed to violence. Despite investments by both the US and Iraqi governments, there are insufficient funds to provide better training and salaries for health care workers. Security issues have also slowed the delivery of equipment and supplies. (Chicago Tribune)

UNHCR Issues New Guidelines on Iraqi Asylum Seekers (September 27, 2005)

Citing continued security concerns, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugeeshas requested that governments continue to host and receive Iraqi asylum seekers. Despite the January 2005 elections, Iraqi citizens face increased violence, and many basic services are unavailable. Approximately 1.2 million Iraqis are internally displaced while 1.5 million have fled the country as emigrants or asylum seekers.

Food Operation Under Threat (September 27, 2005)

Due to a lack of donor funding, the World Food Program's operations in Iraq have been stifled. With investment priorities in Iraq shifting to security and reconstruction, the WFP has received less than half of the $66 million it needs. The program has so far succeeded in feeding 1.7 million of the 3 million Iraqis facing impoverishment. (Integrated Regional Information Networks)

Iraq: Focus on Boys Trapped in Commercial Sex Trade (August 8, 2005)

Since the US-UK invasion in 2003, Iraq has seen a dramatic increase in the number of youths working in the sex trade. Poverty often drives these boys to prostitution, though sometimes street gangs press them into the trade under threat of violence. Many of these boys fear that their families will kill them if they discover the source of their income. Although the Iraqi Ministry of Labor has established programs to combat the phenomenon, their efforts, as well as those of non-governmental organizations, have met with little success. (Integrated Regional Information Networks)

Housing Problems Increase as Conflict Hits Hearth and Home (August 3, 2005)

450,000 Iraqi families are homeless, and thousands more live in substandard housing, according to Iraqi officials. The quality of Iraqi housing declined during the 1990s because of United Nations sanctions, but the problem has worsened since 2003, as fighting between US troops and insurgents has driven many people from their homes. Projects to build more housing units for Iraqis have stalled due to lack of funding. (Integrated Regional Information Networks)

Quieter than Bombs, Iraq's Foul Water Also Kills (July 11, 2005)

Dirty water in Baghdad is killing Iraqis, especially children. Pre-war sanctions seriously damaged Iraq's water supply, and now, frequent insurgent attacks on water pipes and sporadic reconstruction efforts have caused hepatitis A and typhoid to rise in the last two years. The US military says that the pace of reconstruction is slow because of the high cost of work in a war zone. (Reuters)

Water Main Attack Affects Two Million in Baghdad (June 22, 2005)

Insurgents in Iraq attacked a major water main in Baghdad, depriving two million residents of drinking water. A senior Baghdad governorate official said the pipes could take up to a week to fix, during which time many residents have to travel several kilometers to public water pipes in order to get water for washing, cleaning and drinking. Iraqi doctors have also reported a spike in diarrhea and other illnesses related to the consumption of dirty water, particularly in children. (Integrated Regional Information Networks)

Unending Health Disaster For Iraqi Kids (June 18, 2005)

Sanctions and the 2003 invasion of Iraq severely worsened the health situation in the country, particularly for children. Since 1991, half of the health-care centers in Iraq have shut down. According to the Iraqi health minister, 100 percent of the remaining hospitals need rehabilitation. The lack of basic health care services means that "hundreds of thousands of children born after the war have had none of their required vaccinations," and the problem is compounded by the fact that international aid organizations such as Doctors Without Borders and CARE International have left the country due to the dismal security situation. (Japan Times)

NGO Calls For Greater Facilitation For Aid Work (June 15, 2005)

According to an Italian NGO, "Humanitarian work in Iraq has not been respected to any extent by the Multi-National Forces (MNF) and Iraqi security forces." The NGO issued the statement after an incident in which MNF troops targeted one of the its clearly marked water supply trucks. The statement added that the United Nations Assistance Mission to Iraq (UNAMI) and other NGOs should establish "mechanisms and a common understanding with both MNF and Iraqi security forces to avoid such non-discriminatory military actions." (Integrated Regional Information Networks)

Ongoing Insecurity Hampers Landmine Clearance (June 6, 2005)

Insecurity in Iraq is forcing many international organizations to halt their landmine and unexploded ordnance (UXO) clearing efforts. Iraq is heavily mined, especially near its border with Iran, and one organization alone has removed more than 1,350,000 mines and UXOs from northern Iraq since July 2003. (Integrated Regional Information Networks)

In Iraq, Living Conditions "Tragic" (May 16, 2005)

The Iraq Living Conditions Survey, released by the Iraqi Ministry of Planning and Development Cooperation in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme, is the "first comprehensive statistical description of living standards in the country produced in years." It finds the situation in Iraq "tragic," and provides some startling statistics: "nearly one-fourth of Iraqi children aged between six months and five years are chronically malnourished," and between 2,100 and 3,500 children have been killed in the war so far. (Inter Press Service)

Insurgents and Criminals Target Doctors (May 10, 2005)

Insurgents and criminals systematically target doctors, seriously impacting Iraq's health system. A study carried out by Iraq's Ministry of Health found that hundreds of doctors and other medical personal "have been killed and kidnapped" since the March 2003 invasion, with more than 160 such incidents in the first part of 2005 alone. Many top specialists have left the country, "resulting in a breakdown of [Iraq's] public health system." (Integrated Regional Information Networks)

Divergent Views over Relationship between NGOs and Coalition (May 4, 2005)

Aid agencies in Iraq struggle to operate in difficult security conditions. Humanitarian groups find it hard to ensure their own security without coordinating with Coalition forces or security contractors, but such cooperation leads Iraqis to question the neutrality of some NGOs. Further, the US government funds many US-based and Iraqi aid groups. Because of this, aid consultant Greg Hansen asks, "can you blame Iraqis for being thoroughly confused about who is doing what?" (Integrated Regional Information Networks)

Education: International Recovery Effort Urged for Iraq (May 2, 2005)

According to the United Nations, five out of six of Iraq's colleges and universities "have been wrecked" and "failure to rehabilitate them will set back efforts to heal the war-brutalised country." Additionally, UNICEF, the UN children's agency, reported that "primary and secondary education has also been ruined" by three wars and more than a decade of sanctions. UNICEF also characterized the school reconstruction program touted by US officials as "limited." (Inter Press Service)

Balancing the Iraq Equation (April 22, 2005)

The death of Marla Ruzicka, campaigner for recognition of and compensation for civilian Iraqi victims of US military attacks, has cast a spotlight on the issue of Iraqi civilians killed by US forces. While the Pentagon does not officially keep track of civilian deaths, Ruzicka discovered that "standard operating procedure" requires US troops to file a report when a noncombatant is shot. But the US media, which avoids criticizing the Iraq war, did not mention the details of Ruzicka's work amid the many tributes to her. (Inter Press Service)

Security Measures Preventing School and Work Attendance (April 19, 2005)

Tight security in Baghdad surrounding national assembly meetings prevents students, teachers, and government employees from going to school and work. One student called the situation "a mess," saying "you cannot reach your college due to insecurity or you have too much security." Government employees, meanwhile, complain that "their work is piling up" and delaying essential reconstruction work. (Integrated Regional Information Networks)

Focus on Increase in Kidnappings (April 11, 2005)

Cases of kidnappings for ransom, mostly of children, have increased sharply in post-war Iraq. According to the Ministry of Interior (MoI), "more than 130 cases have been registered since July 2004," though "many cases aren't reported to the Iraqi police for security reasons." The chief of the MoI's kidnapping investigation department says that kidnappings were rare under Saddam Hussein's regime. Iraqi citizens and officials alike blame poor security in the country, which has allowed kidnapping gangs and other criminal elements to flourish. (Integrated Regional Information Networks)

Humanitarian Worker in Iraq Says Things Have Gotten Worse (April 6, 2005)

A humanitarian worker who recently returned from Iraq says that he "doesn't know anybody that would tell you conditions are better [in Iraq since the invasion]. They are worse." He notes that "in the past two years, rather than seeing an improvement in [public services], (Iraqis are) seeing a continual decline in those services." Asked about pulling out troops, he replied that it should be done as soon as possible, because the occupation forces have become "a magnet for violence," but not before Iraq has competent security and police forces capable of maintaining order. (Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram)

Iraq's Dislocated Minorities Struggle in Urban Enclaves (April 3, 2005)

The invasion of Iraq triggered "great dislocations" of people, resulting in "poor, dangerous and often ethnically homogenous urban enclaves" on a previously unseen scale. Poor areas in Baghdad and other large cities "became infested with serious crime" only after the fall of Saddam Hussein's police state, and even police detectives fear going into some of these slums. The migrants themselves, mostly poor and from rural areas, suffer from discrimination in health care, education, and other basic services. (New York Times)

Fire Bombs in Iraq: Napalm by Any Other Name (March 2005)

Though the US ratified the 1980 UN Convention on "Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects," it did not sign up to the protocol on incendiary weapons (fire bombs) and continues to use such weapons in Iraq. While the US has denied possessing "napalm" in its arsenal on the technicality that the word refers only to the specific mix of gasoline, benzene and polystyrene used in Vietnam and Korea, the Pentagon has admitted to using the MK-77, "an incendiary with a function 'remarkably similar' to that of napalm." (Iraq Analysis Group)

Expert: Malnutrition Affects Iraq Kids

Malnutrition among Iraqi children under the age of 5 jumped from 4 percent immediately after the US-led invasion to 7.7 percent in the fall of 2004, according to the UN Human Rights Commission's Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food Jean Ziegler. In a presentation to the Commission, Ziegler also said that "more than a quarter of Iraqi children don't get enough to eat," and called the situation "a result of the war led by coalition forces." (Associated Press)

Study Says Civilian Casualties on the Rise After Elections (March 21, 2005)

According to Iraq Body Count, an independent organization monitoring the human cost of the war, the civilian death rate in Iraq increased after the elections, with an average "of up to 21 killed each day" in February 2005. The organization's figures also reveal that "the number of violent incidents has soared" since February 2004. Iraq Body Count currently places the number of civilian casualties since the war started between 7,061 and 19,432. (Gulf News)

Evidence of Insurgents Using Child Soldiers (March 15, 2005)

A member of the Sunni insurgency in Iraq claimed 23 children, either orphans or children of insurgents, "have been involved in the fight against the US." A senior policeman in Baghdad cited a higher figure, saying police had captured 60 children who either fought or worked for the insurgents. According to the Iraqi Red Crescent, "the most worrying aspect of the situation is the negative psychological impact on the children," many of whom have "effectively been brainwashed." (Integrated Regional Information Networks)

Focus on Women's Rights (March 8, 2005)

Two years after the US invasion of Iraq, women still face "honor killings," intimidation from religious conservatives, discrimination and casual violence. Some women detained by US or Iraqi forces have alleged that soldiers sexually abused and raped them, though a senior US coalition official denied having received any reports of such cases. (Integrated Regional Information Networks)

"We Are Living in a State of Constant Fear" (March 2, 2005)

While the war and occupation in Iraq have unquestionably increased the instances of depression and other mental health problems among Iraqis, "information about the scale of the problem is elusive." Both the International Red Cross and Médecins Sans Frontií¨res say they have no data on the subject. Lacking medicines to treat psychological disorders, some doctors increasingly rely on electroconvulsive therapy, a crude and severe measure, to treat their patients. (Guardian)

US Cites Array of Rights Abuses by the Iraqi Government in 2004 (March 1, 2005)

In its annual report on human rights, the US State Department detailed an array of abuses by the Iraqi government. These included "torture, rape, and illegal detentions," as well as "arbitrary deprivation of life." The report cited specific instances of transgressions, including the killing of 10 Baath Party members in Basra by local authorities and the execution of 12 kidnappers by Baghdad police. The report did not cover US abuses in Iraq and elsewhere. (International Herald Tribune)

Mixed Picture for IDPs in the North (February 24, 2005)

Officially, Saddam Hussein's Arabization campaigns forced some 800,000 Kurds, out of a population of four million, to leave their homes. But contrary to the image conjured up by the term "internally displaced person", only a "tiny minority" of Iraqi Kurdish IDPs still live in squalor. According to the article, "Kurdish authorities have worked efficiently to counteract the destruction wrought by the former regime" using UN Oil-for-Food funds. However, thousands of previously "imported" Arabs who fled from Kurdish militias during the war face very difficult conditions. As one international aid worker put it, "their situation is very, very bad." (Integrated Regional Information Networks)

Decades of Suffering, Now Women Deserve Better (February 22, 2005)

The status of women in Iraq has not improved measurably following the fall of Saddam Hussein's government. An increase in killings, abductions and rapes has "restricted women's freedom of movement and their ability to go to school or work." Indeed, this Amnesty Internationalreport suggests their situation may worsen as conservative social and political forces gain clout in the new government. Gender discrimination is also essentially codified in Iraqi law, making changes difficult.

Focus on Needs in Kirkuk (February 16, 2005)

The thousands of Kurds expelled from Kirkuk under Saddam Hussein's rule are now returning, displacing Arab residents who had settled in the city under Hussein's Arabization project. A UN survey of Kurds expelled from Kirkuk found that 82% wished to return, and Kurdish parties encourage this by offering cash incentives for Kurdish families to move back to the oil-rich city. Iraqi Red Crescent Society (IRCS) officials appeal for urgently-needed supplies for displaced Arabs, and stress the need for a quick solution to the conflict over Kirkuk. (Integrated Regional Information Networks)


Iraq's Children Suffer Most Under US Occupation (November 22, 2004)

A Norwegian survey finds that malnutrition among Iraqi children has become widespread since the US-led invasion, resulting in conditions equal to those in some African countries. The study, conducted in cooperation with the UN Development Program and the Iraqi Health Ministry, blames the increase in the rate of malnutrition partly on violence that has forced international aid agencies to pull out of the country. (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)

Falluja Facing Humanitarian Crisis (November 11, 2004)

The attack on Fallujah has created a humanitarian disaster because medical help cannot reach wounded civilians. At least 2,200 families have already fled the city and others are trapped with no water, food or medicine. (Aljazeera)

The War on Iraq Has Made Moral Cowards of Us All (November 1, 2004)

Former Iraq weapons inspector Scott Ritter assesses the civilian toll of bloody battles that took place in the early stages of the war. Thousands of civilians died in the "shock and awe" bombings of Baghdad and during US efforts to rid Nassirya and Falluja of insurgents. Ritter emphasizes that "the US and Britain have a history of turning a blind eye to Iraqi suffering when it suits their political purposes." He also debunks the myth that the coalition's modern warfare practices have ensured this has been "the most humanitarian in history." (YaleGlobal)

US Has Killed 100,000 in Iraq: The Lancet (October 29, 2004)

A British medical journal reports over 100, 000 Iraqi civilian casualties since Saddam Hussein's fall on April 9, 2003. The amount of casualties is significantly higher than previous estimates and suggests that the US has already killed a third as many Iraqi civilians in 18 months as Saddam did in 24 years. (Informed Comment)

Iraq Faces Soaring Toll of Deadly Disease (October 13, 2004)

The Iraqi Ministry of Health in Baghdad has issued a report describing a new crisis for Iraqis. Years of neglect and war have shattered the health system, which cannot deal with the rapid growth in infectious as well as chronic diseases. Poverty, malnourishment and disease are likely to claim more victims than the 2003 war. (Independent)

Running the US Military's Compensation Gauntlet (July 14, 2004)

The CPA established a fund in 2003 to compensate innocent Iraqi victims for wrongful deaths and destruction of property resulting from US military actions. However, the adoption of CPA Order 17 shields coalition forces, the CPA, Foreign Liaison Missions, their Personnel, property, funds and assets, and all International Consultants from Iraqi legal process. The New Standardargues that this created a "catch-22" whereby Iraqi claims are disregarded as all actions by US forces are deemed "military."


Tons of Depleted Uranium Polluting Iraq (December 1, 2003)

US Central Command has admitted that its troops fired 300,000 munition rounds coated with depleted uranium (DU) during the hostilities. A quantity of DU the size of a pencil eraser emits radiation 1,000 times above the safe exposure level. (Yellow Times)

Continuing Collateral Damage: the Health and Environmental Costs of War in Iraq (November 11, 2003)

This report from global health charity Medact shows that the war on Iraq has enacted a heavy and lasting toll on the health of Iraqi citizens.

Iraq's Real WMD Crime (October 30, 2003)

US forces used tons of depleted uranium (DU) weapons during the 1991 and 2003 wars in Iraq. According to an Iraqi medical expert, the horrifying effects of DU are already visible in the increase of cancer and fetal deformities. (Aljazeera)

The Wages of War: Iraqi Combatant and Noncombatant Fatalities in the 2003 Conflict (October 28, 2003)

A study from Project on Defense Alternatives analyzes US combat data, battlefield press reports and Iraqi hospital surveys to conclude a toll of 11,000-15,000 Iraqi casualties. The study finds that civilian casualties comprise 30% of the total. Click herefor the full report.

Everyone Now Needs Food Aid (June 30, 2003)

The war on Iraq created a humanitarian crisis, with the population of 27 million Iraqis more dependent than ever on food rations. Before the US-UK invasion, 60% of the Iraq population lived off food rations compared with 100% in the post-war period. (Inter Press Service)

'They Must Be Brought to Court' (June 20, 2003)

The occupying powers must move quickly to establish the rule of law in Iraq, or risk a surge of vigilante justice. (Guardian)

Burned Iraqi Children Turned Away (June 23, 2003)

Three Iraqi children were burned by explosive powder left over from the war. Their father requested immediate medical attention from a nearby US military base. Army doctors refused this request, because the children's injuries were not life-threatening and had not been inflicted by US troops. (Associated Press)

Greenpeace Blames US and UK for Pollution From Looted Nuclear Site (June 25, 2003)

Greenpeace accuses the US and UK of "callous disregard" for the health of Iraqis and the fate of radioactive substances near a looted nuclear site south of Baghdad. Greenpeace says UN nuclear experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency should carry out a full survey of the area. (Guardian)

Iraq: The Challenge of Humanitarian Response (June 5, 2003)

Kevin Murray, executive director of Grassroots International, argues that some NGO's compromised their neutrality when they assisted Iraq under the Pentagon's supervision. Murray writes that the first humanitarian response must not be to support the occupying power but to unconditionally oppose an unjust war. (Foreign Policy in Focus)

Children Suffer on Baghdad Streets (May 29, 2003)

Since the collapse of the regime, homeless children, often drug-addicted and hungry, have become a common sight on the streets of Baghdad. There are too few schools to keep children off the streets and aid workers say homelessness among Baghdad's young has exploded.(CNN)

Not Another Afghanistan (May 28, 2003)

Afghanis fear Iraqis will suffer the same years of unrest, countless dead and desperate poverty as Afghanistan does. They also worry that because of the war and reconstruction of Iraq, US and Europe will forget about the people of Afghanistan.(Alternet)

UN Chiefs Warns of Anti-American Backlash in Iraq (May 27, 2003)

Ramiro Lopes da Silva, the UN's most senior humanitarian official in Iraq, criticizes some of the US post-war reconstruction plans. He said that US attempts to rebuild the country are overly dominated by "ideology" and risk triggering a violent backlash.(Guardian)

Working to Restore Public Health System to Help Malnourished Children (May 25, 2003)

A (UNICEF) study shows that acute malnutrition among children had almost doubled since before the war, jumping from 4 to 7.7%. This severe increase in malnutrition was resulting from UNICEF's health programs being discontinued after the onset of the war.

Iraqis Taste Freedom and Chaos (May 23, 2003)

Iraqis are growing impatient with the slow pace of changes. Local leaders demand more liberation and less occupation in a country where security and lack of electricity are still great problems. (Christian Science Monitor)

Rummy Invades Iraq Aid (May 6, 2003)

The Bush administration has put the Department of Defense in charge of humanitarian efforts in Iraq, ignoring NGO concerns that collaboration with the military will compromise their neutrality and place aid workers' lives in danger. (The Nation)

WHO Warns of Iraq Cholera Outbreak (May 8, 2003)

The clean water shortage in southern Iraq creates risk of cholera outbreak according to the World Health Organization. (Guardian)

First UN System Meeting in Basra (May 6, 2003)

UN agencies and NGOs met in Basra to share information on emergency relief operations in Iraq's second largest city. A coordinated humanitarian response to the crisis in Iraq is essential to minimize the suffering of the Iraqi people. (OneWorld)

US Fails to Fulfill Obligation to Support Health Care System in Iraq (May 2, 2003)

According to the international medical humanitarian organization, Doctors Without Borders, the US has given priority to building an administration, leaving the Iraqi health system in disarray.

Iraq Situation Critical, Warn Aid Agencies (May 2, 2003)

A statement signed by the leaders of eight aid agencies warns that the Iraqi people will face more death, disease and fear if the US-led coalition occupying Iraq does not step up security to help humanitarian aid get through. (Guardian)

Agencies Say Iraq Needs Security, Water, Salaries (April 29, 2003)

Aid agencies are keen to supply water, food and medical supplies to the Iraqi people but cite poor security as a major barrier to their work. They emphasized that while Iraq needs assistance, food relief was far more urgent in many African nations. (Alertnet)

NGOs Form Coordination Committee in Baghdad (April 22, 2003)

Eighteen NGOs have joined together to coordinate their aid work in Iraq. The group agreed upon a set of principles which include employing as many Iraqis as possible, maintaining neutrality and independence, and avoiding duplication in the services that they provide. (Integrated Regional Information Network)

Tentative Start As Aid Agencies Move into Iraq (April 17, 2003)

Aid agencies are frustrated by military restrictions on access to areas of Iraq where people are in dire need of help. Many problems hamper NGO progress including lack of security, limited experience working in Iraq and the need to develop the trust of the Iraqi people while collaborating with the US military. (Alertnet)

Relief Groups Seek to Keep Pentagon at Arm's Length (April 16, 2003)

Some humanitarian aid groups will not work in Iraq under the Pentagon but are willing to cooperate with the US State Department. Others will only work with a UN authority in Iraq, underscoring the importance of aid workers' neutrality and independence from belligerent parties. (New York Times)

World Bank Offers Iraq Help (April 11, 2003)

The World Bank is willing to offer Iraq financial assistance to rebuild the country when the war is over, but new loans will require authorization from the United Nations. (Australian Associated Press)

Wrong People for the Job (April 11, 2003)

Dominic Nutt, an emergencies officer for Christian Aid, argues that the military must give up the task of delivering aid to the population of Iraq and hand the task over to the UN. (Guardian)

UN Issues New Guidelines for Humanitarian Aid (April 7, 2003)

The United Nations has instructed its aid workers going to Iraq to keep their distance from US soldiers to preserve the civilian character of UN humanitarian operations. (Associated Press)

Iraq's Reconstruction and the Role of the United Nations (April 4, 2003)

This report, by Oxfam International, proposes principles for how the international community "should assist the people of Iraq in establishing their own administration after the war." The authors argue that the UN must play an important leadership role in this effort.

US Using Cluster Munitions in Iraq (April 1, 2003)

Human Rights Watch reports that US ground forces in Iraq are using cluster munitions with a very high failure rate, creating immediate and long-term dangers for civilians. According to Steve Goose, executive director of the Arms Division of Human Rights Watch. "Iraqi civilians will be paying the price with their lives and limbs for many years."

Aid Workers Fear Dangers of Delay (March 25, 2003)

Despite the promise of aid within 36 hours, the situation is so insecure in some parts of Iraq that relief workers say it will take at least days and probably weeks before they can start delivery of aid. (New York Times)

Crisis in Basra as Troops Fail to Create Corridor for Aid (March 25, 2003)

The city of Basra is facing a worsening humanitarian situation, as water and electricity supplies have been disrupted. Unicef warns that 100,000 children under the age of five are at risk. (Guardian)

Iraqi Humanitarian Crisis Seen (March 20, 2003)

As the war starts, humanitarian groups and relief organizations are increasingly concerned about the needs of civilians affected by the conflict. (Disaster News)

US, Britain plan for Iraqi Oil Money to Be Spent on Humanitarian Relief (March 19, 2003)

The US and UK are drafting a plan to use Iraqi oil proceeds to pay for humanitarian relief supplies during the war. To avoid any further split in the Security Council, Washington and London want to turn over the responsibility for the Oil-for-Food Programme to Kofi Annan. (Associated Press)

In Baghdad, Residents Fear for City, And Its Soul (March 19, 2003)

People of Baghdad are still traumatized by the 1991 Gulf War and they are seized by fear as the US 48 hour deadline approaches. (Washington Post)

Left Behind to Starve (March 18, 2003)

As the United States prepares to spend $12 billion a month to bomb Iraqis, it has only earmarked $65 million total to manage the ensuing humanitarian disaster. Meanwhile, people all over Africa face starvation as funds for famine relief run dry, revealing "the disproportion between the money available for sustaining life and the money available for terminating it." (Guardian)

Aid Agencies Insist UN Runs Post-War Iraq (March 18, 2003)

NGO aid agencies call for the UN to administer Iraq immediately after the war. They insist cooperation with a US transitional authority could make them seem complicit with a belligerent party rather than completely neutral. The peace and safety of aid workers would also be better assured under UN governance. (Alertnet)

Allied Bombs Threaten a New Generation of Children With Trauma, Disease and Death (March 10, 2003)

The massive bombardment of Iraq, promised by the US, will cause widespread death, displacement, disease and psychological trauma among the 13 million children in the country. (Independent)

Relief Will be Poor Relation in War Cash Handouts (March 7, 2003)

Aid funding will be subordinate to the tens of billions needed for the military operation against Iraq and its subsequent "democratic" reconstruction. Most governments are afraid that by donating funds before the conflict they would be conceding that war is inevitable. (Alertnet)

A Disaster in the Making (March 7, 2003)

Charlie Clements, a public health physician, reports on a recent emergency public health mission to Iraq. "With half the population of Iraq under age 18," he asks, "can we make war on Saddam Hussein and not make war on children?" (Baltimore Sun)

Oxfam to Shun Iraq Funds from Belligerent States (March 4, 2003)

Oxfam International will not accept funds for humanitarian aid from any government that sends troops to Iraq. This policy underscores Oxfam's impartiality and prevents belligerent governments from using the humanitarian effort as an instrument of foreign policy, designed to justify or prolong the war. (Alertnet)

Iraq: Open Letter for UN Security Council Debate (February 24, 2003)

Human Rights Watchissues a call to all UN member states to ensure that the protection of Iraq's civilians is at the forefront of all its deliberations regarding military actions against Iraq.

Potential Humanitarian Impact of War with Iraq (February 22, 2003)

According to Richard Garfield, professor at Columbia University, a military attack on Iraq is going to have devastating consequences on areas ranging from nutrition to damaged infrastructure.

"Grim Picture" Seen for Iraqis (February 14, 2003)

Secretary General Kofi Annan held a private meeting with the Security Council's 15 ambassadors regarding possible consequences of a war with Iraq. According to leaked UN documents an invasion could cause the deaths of nearly 1 million children from malnutrition. (Los Angeles Times)

"Unauthorised" War Could Worsen the Refugee and Food Crisis, Says Short (February 13, 2003)

In the event of war without UN authorization, according to the Secretary of State for International Development, the consequences in terms of security and food are going to be devastating for the people of Iraq. (Independent)

Vulnerable But Ignored: How Catastrophe Threatens the 12 Million Children of Iraq (February 12, 2003)

In the event of a war, children in Iraq will endure devastating consequences. According to a team of international investigators, Iraqi children are already suffering "significant psychological harm." (Independent)

Iraqi Water and Sanitation Systems Could Be Military Target, Says Ministry of Defense (February 2, 2003)

The British Ministry of Defense has admitted that the electricity system that powers water and sanitation for the Iraqi people could be considered a "military target," despite warnings that its destruction would cause a humanitarian tragedy. (Independent)

Counting the Dead (January 29, 2003)

A leaked report from a special UN taskforce estimates the staggering humanitarian effects of a war on Iraq, calculating that half a million people in Iraq could require medical treatment as a direct or indirect result of such a war. (Guardian)

Health Experts Warn of Iraq War Consequences (January 24, 2003)

In an unprecedented move, more than 550 international health experts signed an open letter urging British Prime Minister Tony Blair to consider the horrific humanitarian effects of war on Iraq. The group is considering sending a similar letter to President Bush. (Reuters)

Agencies Should Resist Being Taken for Granted in Iraq (January 17, 2003)

This article encourages NGOs to stipulate conditions under which they will assist the aid effort in the event of war. It is argued that this radical approach would underscore the importance of NGO independence and would not provide belligerent governments with an easy justification for conflict. (Alertnet)

Iraq War Could Put 10 Million in Need of Aid, UN Reports (January 7, 2003)

A US-led war against Iraq could place 10 million Iraqi civilians at risk of hunger and disease, according to a leaked UN contingency plan to coordinate the UN's humanitarian response to a war. The report calls attention to fears that delivering aid in the first weeks of an attack may be impossible. (Washington Post)


War Would Threaten Iraq's Kurds and Shias (November 29, 2002)

The vice president of a Turkish humanitarian relief group describes NGOs' preparations for a war against Iraq. He advises aid organizations to foster partnerships with local groups, carry medications in case of biological and chemical attacks, establish mobile hospitals, and warehouse supplies in advance. (AlertNet)

Collateral Damage: the Health and Environmental Costs of War on Iraq (November 12, 2002)

This report analyses the probable effects of a new war on Iraq from a public health perspective. Based on projections from the 1990-91 Gulf War, the report concludes that a war today would result in an even more immense humanitarian crisis with long-term health and environmental damages. (MedAct)

Iraq: Consequences of War (October, 2002)

Oxford Research Groupargues that a war on Iraq would probably result in high civilian casualties, regional instability, and bring about an increased risk of the use of weapons of mass destruction. The report, based on information on US war plans and how Iraq might respond, calls for the development of alternatives to force.

Toward A Human Disaster (October 14, 2002)

Former Assistant Secretary of Defense Kenneth H. Bacon stresses the need for meeting the humanitarian challenges in Iraq. He argues that a war in Iraq would create a humanitarian disaster and that "preparation to save the people of Iraq is at least as important as planning to remove the president of Iraq." (Boston Globe)

The Humanitarian Implications of Military Action against Iraq (September 4, 2002)

Save the Children UKexpresses concern about a possible military intervention against Baghdad, which would gravely exacerbate the humanitarian crisis created by the long-lasting sanctions in Iraq.

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