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Old 04-17-2003, 04:58 PM   #1
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Save the Children blocked from IRAQ

I feel sick reading this. supplies and food for 40,000 iraqi's and they wont let the plane land?!!!!!!!!

British Aid Plane Prevented from Entering Iraq
Thu Apr 17,12:32 PM ET Add World - Reuters to My Yahoo!


By Kate Holton

LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. forces have refused a Save the Children plane permission to land in northern Iraq (news - web sites) to deliver aid, breaching the Geneva Convention and "costing children their lives," the British aid agency said on Thursday.

Save the Children said in a statement it had been trying for more than a week to land a plane in Arbil carrying enough medical supplies to treat 40,000 people and emergency feeding kits for malnourished children.

A U.S. official told the charity no aid flights would be allowed until the area was safe but the U.N. has already declared Arbil a "safe and secure" area, the charity said.

"The doctors we are trying to help have been struggling against the odds for weeks to continue saving lives, but now the help we have promised them is being endlessly delayed," Emergency Program Manager Rob MacGillivray said.

"The lack of cooperation from the U.S. military is a breach of the Geneva Conventions and its protocols but more importantly the time now being wasted is costing children their lives."

U.S. officials were not immediately available for comment.

Under the Geneva Convention, occupying forces are obliged to protect civilians, restore law and order (news - Y! TV) and open up space for humanitarian relief.

A spokeswoman for Save the Children told Reuters the plane would also carry medical officials. She said the charity had already taken vehicles into Arbil with money for hospitals but they now needed medical supplies.

The charity, who said the hospitals did not have sufficient water or power, also said the staff at one hospital had been forced to combat looters as they continued to work throughout fighting in the city.

Aid officials say Iraq is in desperate need of medical and food deliveries following a month of fighting and years of economic sanctions and misrule.

U.S. war commander General Tommy Franks said on Thursday that law and order was returning to Iraq following a wave of looting and that his forces were now firmly focused on aid and humanitarian operations.

Prior to the U.S.-led attack on Iraq, 60 percent of Iraq's 26 million people depended directly on a U.N.-backed oil-for-food program, which allowed proceeds from Iraq's oil to be used to buy food while the country was under international economic sanctions.
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Old 04-17-2003, 05:04 PM   #2
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That is disgusting. I'll be interested to hear an explanation for this from whoever is responsible.
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Old 04-17-2003, 07:10 PM   #3
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I agree, this is absolutely disgusting.
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Old 04-17-2003, 07:18 PM   #4
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I mean, come on, we have how many THOUSANDS OF TROOPS in Northern IRAQ? Get them to the landing strip to protect the friggin plane!

This type of thing enfuriates me. Freakin' government!
I agree, I wanna see the explanation for this one.
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Old 04-17-2003, 07:26 PM   #5
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From the Savethechildren.org news updates on their website:


Iraq Children in Crisis Fund

Protect women and children in war and conflict around the world

Support our programs for children around the world

First Congressman to enter Iraq does so with Save the Children’s Help

“If journalists are able to go in, why not the humanitarians?”
says Save President

Save the Children relief and child protection experts accompanied Connecticut Congressman Chris Shays (R-CT) on a day-long visit to the Iraq city of Umm Qasr yesterday (April 16) as Save the Children stepped up its efforts to deliver aid to children and their families.

Rep. Shays is the first U.S. Congressman to enter Iraq since the war's end. He traveled from Kuwait City into and out of Iraq as part of a Save the Children convoy.

Save the Children experts told Rep. Shays that they were hopeful of expanding their operations beyond Umm Qasr, but that humanitarian organizations had not been permitted access to most areas of Iraq due to security concerns.

In Umm Qasr, Rep. Shays and Save the Children relief experts met with local civic leaders to discuss the war's humanitarian impact on the port city's residents.

Rep. Shays was told of the need for new child protection programs to help children overcome the trauma of war and get their lives back to normal. At present, many children in the city continue to spend most of their time in the streets.

In addition, residents also noted that there is a growing need for cooking fuel as well as a more equitable and less expensive system to distribute water. At present in many neighborhoods water is accessible only from vendors who charge fees that many families cannot afford.

Rep. Shays praised Save the Children for its on-going work in Umm Qasr which began 11 days ago. Shays, however, expressed concern about the delays many groups like Save the Children have experienced in distributing much-needed aid throughout the country because of insecure conditions.

“I saw a lot of poverty. I saw a lot of bad living conditions,” Rep. Shays told the Associated Press. “I just wish other members of Congress had seen what I got to see.”

Save the Children has been working in a number of neighborhoods in Umm Qasr to set up a distribution system for cooking fuel. The agency is hopeful deliveries can begin by the middle of next week.

Save the Children experts said most resident have enough food to last several more weeks as a result of stockpiles created by the U.N. Oil for Food program prior to the war.

Save the Children plans to visit Basra, the nation’s second largest on Saturday, if security issues can be resolved. The agency plans to set up a regional office in Basra as it expands its operations into four provinces in southern Iraq with a total population of 5 million.

“We have every reason to believe that children and families are facing very tough times,” Charles MacCormack, president of Save the Children, told the Associated Press. “I can’t speak for the military people. They have a job to do and they don’t want to create any unnecessary risks. But if journalists are able to go in, why not the humanitarians.”
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Old 04-18-2003, 04:55 AM   #6
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Did Save the Children suggest anything people can do to help? Maybe lobbying public officials or something?
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Old 04-18-2003, 06:31 AM   #7
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Does this make anyone else suspicious of calling the motives for this war "humanitarian" when it is so obviously a low priority?
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Old 04-18-2003, 08:56 AM   #8
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Re: Save the Children blocked from IRAQ

Quote:
Originally posted by oktobergirl

The charity, who said the hospitals did not have sufficient water or power, also said the staff at one hospital had been forced to combat looters as they continued to work throughout fighting in the city.
This is probably your answer. If the US military can't control looting [which has been proven] then this aid should not be sent in yet. Like all of you, I want this aid to get there. But you can't help people if you're worrying about supplies being looted. And if those supplies can help sick people, why would want to waste one needle or one bottle of pills because someone steals it? And as it says above, there is still fighting in the city.

The aid needs to get there, the US needs to secure that area and crack down on the looting, but we all know that hasn't been successful yet.
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Old 04-18-2003, 10:23 AM   #9
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That is in other areas, not where they want to land the plane. Also they haven't been able to get to Basra with aid and the British have it under control and are even pulling out troops.
This war is such a farce, I'm sickened and disgusted by the admin.
Two years can't be up fast enough.

edited to say
They need more time to tidy up before outsiders are allowed in. And I don't care if anyone flames me, YES I really think that. I've seen the pictures of plows on the front of tanks in Desert I.
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Old 04-18-2003, 10:42 AM   #10
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US and UK forces are allowing aid to enter through the southern ports... the north isn't secure yet, so obviously they don't want anyone comming in from the north. people... this is a WAR ZONE. Not the safest place to be. Humanitarian aid is already flowing in from Umm Qasr. Once the north is under complete control, and safe, they'll let the aid come in from the north too. The last thing anyone needs is a bunch of dead charity workers because they were let in too soon. Give it time... within a week or two there will be aid flowing throughout Iraq.
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Old 04-18-2003, 11:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Headache in a Suitcase
Give it time
That's very easy for us in wealthy Western countries to say...sadly it's a little different for people in Iraq who right now don't even have clean drinking water, let alone food, healthcare or any kind of security.
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Old 04-18-2003, 12:12 PM   #12
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Actually some aid workers are already in Kirkuk. Hopefully they'll have everything the people need soon. These people need help ASAP.
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Old 04-18-2003, 01:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by FizzingWhizzbees
That's very easy for us in wealthy Western countries to say...sadly it's a little different for people in Iraq who right now don't even have clean drinking water, let alone food, healthcare or any kind of security.
Ya know, a similar thing was said to a friend of mine on a boat in the Amazon. He asked his guide why they were burning the forests -- didn't they know that was bad for the environment? and his guide said "That's for first world nations to worry about."

Its easy to look outside your window and your street is safe but don't assume that because your street is safe, a street in Iraq is safe. They may not be fighting but what if that plane is shot at by rebels before it reaches its destination? Do you think we have control of all the land they will be flying over? What about the airport? Are you sure where they are landing is not filled with mines? Headache is right -- this is still a war zone.

Scarlet, if you reread the story the spokesperson is in fact talking about what the volunteers who are in Arbil are seeing. And that's where they want to send more supplies.
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Old 04-18-2003, 01:44 PM   #14
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Sharky, I see your point. You're right, we don't want the aid supplies to be looted or the workers mugged. That would be *really* bad news. Some aid has entered the country; not all of it has. The sooner it's there the better; I think some of the aid workers were a bit frustrated because the military wanted to administer the distribution of aid. That's not what the military is trained for, properly speaking. This is frustrating news to those of us who work for humanitarian organizations anywhere. But it doesn't mean we want to see workers hurt or supplies ripped off. It's a balancing act, I guess.
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Old 04-18-2003, 02:42 PM   #15
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No, I don't agree with any of this. This is a LOT of aid. We have almost 100,000 troops in Iraq,no?

if military planes are landing they should be able to provide a safe escort for the STC plan to land there as well. AND the troops should be able to provide a way for us to get the AID where it needs to go.

The Geneva Convention says this is what we do. So let's DO IT. The Saddam regime is over. Sure, there's still looting and many parts of IRAQ are still a war zone. But the military has shown they have gone in to any part of IRAQ fairly successfully. We'll load the damn trucks up with aid supplies and food and send them in.

There's too much bureaucracy going on and I"m getting more and more pissed off.

We are there for a reason. They need to get the job done. Help the people.
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