Saturday, 25 August 2007
Iraqi Boy Who Was Burned By Masked Men To Have Treatment In U.S. August 25, 2007 AHN
Wednesday, 20 June 2007
” Christian Today > Iraqi Children Afflicted By Scars After Witnessing Acts Of Violence
World Vision International have released a report entitled 'Trapped! The disappering Hopes of Iraqi Refugee Children' revealing the terrible pyschological scars Iraqi children are suffering from witnessing acts of violence and death first-hand. The report coincides with World Refugee Day that took place yesterday.
It has illustrated 43 percent of children have witnessed acts of violence and 39 percent have had someone close die due to violence. It highlights that educationa and healthcare are key to helping these children cope with the trauma.
Sergeant Michael Beale told CNN News:
"I saw children that you could see literally every bone in their body that were so skinny, they had no energy to move, no expression."
The store room however was full of food and clothing for the children. Read more here:Patrol discovers horrific abuse of Iraqi orphans Iraq Guardian Unlimited
Wednesday, 23 May 2007
Tuesday, 1 May 2007
A retired American teacher who organises the donations, Sydney R. Snyder, 64, said to The Republican: "It brings some comfort to children caught in a situation not of their own making, people have been very generous. It makes no difference where they are on the spectrum about the war. It is for the kids and for the troops."
Snyder said enabling the troops to give to the children also helps with the military personnel's morale.
Beanie Babies project cheers children in Iraq
Thursday, 26 April 2007
Being a child in Iraq you live a life that could be ended any minute from a roadside bomb or gunmen running into your school. Despite this ongoing violence and threat, the government and international aid agencies started a major immunisation drive on Sunday to avert an outbreak of measles.
Claire Hajaj, UNICEF’s chief of communications at its Iraq Support Centre in Amman (ISCA), said to Middle East Online: "One million children have no immunity to measles - more than enough to spark a dangerous outbreak in which many children could die or be left with lasting disabilities."
The US $10 million, two-week campaign is being led by the Iraqi Ministry of Health with support from UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO) and from the European Commission. It hopes to reach 3.9 million Iraqi children aged between one and five with the combined MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine.
Previously, vaccinators have been unable to reach all children in Iraq because of insecurity, particularly in restive areas. This time, vaccinators are employing different strategies to reach children.
Muhammad Obaidi, media officer for the secretary of health in Anbar province, said he was concerned for the safety of vaccinators in dangerous areas.
“We have been trying to speak with the representatives of all the fighting groups in these hot spot areas - as well as the military and the local population - to guarantee that vaccinators can reach children safely. But nowadays we should be careful all the time and not trust anybody as we never know with whom we are dealing,” Obaidi said.
Vaccinators said they were scared of encountering violence in the course of the immunisation campaign but that their overwhelming sense of humanitarian duty to save Iraqi children kept them optimistic.
Middle East Online
Tuesday, 17 April 2007
Amnesty International is calling on the US, EU and other states to establish generous resettlement programmes in order to assist Iraqi refugees, especially the most vulnerable and at risk, to start new lives well away from the conflict zone, and to afford all refugees and rejected asylum seekers effective protection.
They explain: "The vast majority of Iraqi families in Jordan are unable to send their children to school because they cannot afford private education. They are also unable to send their children to public schools because they do not have valid residency permits. As a result, a whole generation of Iraqis is being denied a fundamental human right, the right to education."
Humanitarian Crisis Looms in Iraq: Amnesty International
Thursday, 12 April 2007
"What has Bush brought for the children of Iraq? Four years of occupation in Iraq has not only crippled the country but also set the scene for what we can see today of innocent children scavenging in garbage dumps to find something with what they could pass the day."
BBSNews - Al-Qaeda Paying US Dollars for Child Recruits in Baghdad
Saturday, 7 April 2007
This is an annual deterioration of 6.1 per cent - a world record, well behind very poor and AIDS affected Botswana.
According to Iraqi Health Ministers the rate of child deaths has increased to 130 in 2006 even though at the outset of the 2003 war, the US administration pledged to cut Iraq's child mortality rate in half by 2005.
According to the United Nations Children's Agency (UNICEF), about one in 10 Iraqi children under five are underweight (acutely malnourished) and one in five are short for their age (chronically malnourished). Poor nutrition equals bad health.
But this is only the tip of the iceberg, according to Claire Hajaj, communications officer at the UNICEF Iraq Support Centre in Amman, who said: "Many Iraqi children may also be suffering from 'hidden hunger' - deficiencies in critical vitamins and minerals that are the building blocks for children's physical and intellectual development."
Hayder Hussainy, a senior official at the Iraqi Ministry of Health, states that approximately 50 per cent of Iraqi children suffer from some form of malnourishment.
Also important is the psychological impact of war and occupation. In a study entitled "The Psychological Effects of War on Iraqis", the Association of Iraqi Psychologists (AIP) reports that out of 2,000 people interviewed in all 18 Iraqi provinces, 92 per cent said they feared being killed in an explosion. Some 60 per cent of those interviewed said the level of violence had caused them to have panic attacks, which prevented them from going out because they feared they would be the next victims.
The AIP also surveyed over 1,000 children across Iraq and found that 92 per cent of children examined had learning impediments, largely attributable to the current climate of fear and insecurity. AIP's Marwan Abdullah, said: "The only thing they have on their minds are guns, bullets, death and a fear of the US occupation."
Information from:War Crimes: Pity the sick of Iraq
Tuesday, 3 April 2007
Now World Vision Canada has launched a combined advocacy and relief effort to assist children and families fleeing to neighbouring countries from Iraq, as violence continues to precipitate the largest refugee crisis in the Middle East in half a century.
Emmanuel Isch, vice-president of International and Canadian programming for World Vision Canada, said: "The plight of Iraqi refugee children is still largely a hidden crisis, but we want to help change that."
Many are struggling to cope without access to health care, legal income, or education for their children in host countries including Jordan and Syria.
Through local partners, World Vision is assisting 10,000 refugees in Jordan with food, basic household items, healthcare and special programmes for children who cannot attend school.
Christian Today – Christian News > World Vision Assists Children Fleeing from Iraq
Parents in Iraq are having to set aside huge portions of their income to pay for water from private tankers as the tap water is said to be ridden with diseases.
Middle East Online
Monday, 2 April 2007
I found an article on the Hawaii Reporter: Hawaii Reporter website that appears to support the use of DU and claims:
"DU is a life saver for American soldiers. Because it is 70% more dense than lead, and when alloyed with tungsten tends to sharpen rather than flatten on impact, a DU round will zip right through enemy armor.
It then ignites causing ammunition and fuel to explode and burn, killing all the head-chopping Islamic fascists inside and thus saving hundreds of humans.
Equivalent lead ammunition would just bounce off. DU’s effectiveness reduces the number of shots needed to kill an enemy, thus reducing the risk posed by stray bullets to civilians.
DU is one of the reasons American deaths in Iraq are 3,250 compared to 58,000 in Vietnam or 33,000 in Korea. Low casualties are a major source of frustration for anti-Americans."
It goes on to say: "No Iraqi children will be affected by DU radiation; they are infinitely more at risk from radiation from the bright desert sun—and from the fascist Islamist baby killers who are inspired by propagandists such as Ms. Rose to believe they can defeat America by killing Iraqi children in front of TV cameras."
Is this writer an extreme nationalist who can't bear the fact that their country has possibly given nearly 1 in 5 Iraqi children birth deformities and cancer or are they right to support the American governments decision to use DU?
Friday, 30 March 2007
Iraq: US occupation sets off sectarian atrocities in Tal Afar
They wrote: "As many as 80 people, mainly women and children, were killed by the two blasts. At least another 185 were wounded."
The Times Online reported the same story stating: "The rampage, which one local politician said was carried out by Shia militiamen aided by police officers, came in retaliation for a double lorry bombing in the town centre, which killed as many as 75 people — most of them Shias — and wounded 180 more."
The Times makes no mention of the death of children and reports less people were killed than the World Socialist Website.
Why is there this irregularity, is one source trying to over dramatise the event or is the other trying to play it down?
Either way it is likely that many Iraqi children were killed again on Wednesday as a result of sectarian violence.
Thursday, 29 March 2007
Save The Children in a press release last year announced: "The decision is linked to the deteriorating security situation in large areas of the country – which makes it increasingly difficult for our work to achieve significant impact for children.
The insecurity affects our ability to monitor our work effectively and maintain organisational standards: it also means that we are unable to extend our development programme from the North of the country, to the Centre and South as we had planned.
Save the Children UK has made the decision to withdraw from Iraq after much deliberation and with great regret.
It is anticipated that we will close our offices by March 2007 at the latest."
March is now here and the children are still needlessly dying. Is it not about time something was done to help?
Tuesday, 27 March 2007
Friday, 23 March 2007
Children who have obtained pyschological disorders from the war have little, if any, access to therapy...
Dr haidr al Maliki was an army psychiatrist during Saddam Hussein's regime. He has now been asked to open the child psychiatry centre in Ab Ibn Rushed hospital, but says: "I have no training in children, really.I read books and I try to help."
Read his story here:
BBC NEWS Have Your Say My Iraq: Child psychiatrist
He told the BBC: "Most of the children are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, especially those who have been exposed to kidnapping. Most of the children I see are bed wetting. They have very disturbed behaviour or epilepsy. We treat them with simple medication; it is very difficult. Most of the families come here for help and sometimes we can do nothing for them, expect offer support and advice."
If Iraq is going to have a future surely better care should be given to it's future generation. Childhood trauma can often lead to depression and other psychological disorders, such as schizophrenia, in later life so it is essential they are treated whilst young.
Thursday, 22 March 2007
Depleted Uranium: the silent killer and cause of soaring birth deformities and child cancer rates in Iraq?
It is being directly blamed on the widespread use of depleted uranium (DU) munitions by the US and British forces in Southern Iraq during the 1991 Gulf War, and then even greater use of DU during the 2003 invasion. The Depleted Uranium: has been called Pentagon Poison and the statistic's reveal this is an accurate term.
The rate of birth defects was 11 per 100,000 births in 1989 and rose to 116 per 100,000 in 2001, now it is soaring further.
Dr Ibrahim al-Jabouri, a medical reporter into birth deformities at Baghdad Univeristy reported to the UN last month: "In my experiments we have found some cases where the mother and father were suffering from pollution from weapons used in the south and we believe that it is affecting newborn babies in the country." According to the Depleted Uranium website.
The rise in birth defects is matched by a continuing increase in the incidence of childhood cancers.
A study by the Collage of Medicine at Basra University revealed horrific changes between 1990 and 1999. Cancer of all types rose by 242 percent in Basra, while the rate of leukaemia among children rose 100 percent.
A report into the phenomenon has noted: "Most doctors and scientists agree that even mild radiation is dangerous and increases the risk of cancer. Broken DU shells release uranium particles. The airborne particles enter the body easily. The uranium then deposits itself in bones, organs and cells. Children are especially vulnerable because their cells divide rapidly as they grow. In pregnant women, absorbed uranium can cross the placenta into the bloodstream of the foetus.
"In addition to its radioactive dangers, uranium is chemically toxic, like lead, and can damage the kidneys and lungs. Perhaps, the fatal epidemic of swollen abdomens among Iraqi children is caused by kidney failure resulting from uranium poisoning. Whatever the effect of the DU shells, it is made worse by malnutrition and poor health conditions....
"Iraq holds the United States and Britain legally and morally responsible for the grave health and environmental impact of the use of DU ..." (A version of the report is available at: http://www.iacenter.org/depleted/du_iraq.htm).
Recently the number of children under 15 falling ill with cancer has risen higher, the rate has now reached 22.4 per 100,000 more than five times the 1990 rate of 3.98 per 100,000.
The statistics point to the long-term consequences of depleted uranium contamination and are hard to ignore.
In ten years time experts predict Iraq will suffer an even greater cancer and birth defect epidemic as the 3000 tonnes of DU that was used in the densely populated city's of Iraq in 2003 begins to take its toll. The question is how will a country who's medical resources are already stretched to the limit cope with such a thing.
Wednesday, 21 March 2007
The film was only allowed to be made because the maker was an Iraqi doctor and when the head of security at the Al-Yarmouk hospital, who had granted the permission, was shot dead the filming also had to stop.
The film was a graphic illustration of the injuries and fatalities occurring every day on the streets of Iraq. Illustrating how overstretched doctors who are not trained to work in a war zone are performing surgery everyday on bomb and gunshot victims.
One women as she was transported to hospital after becoming one of the only surviving victims of a roadside bomb shouted: "Bring back Saddam. It wasn't like this under him!" An Iraqi view that the British and American government don't let us see. The women was referring to the fact that although living under an oppressive dictatorship was not good at least it had order and control. Whereas now Iraqi's live in a constant state of fear and random terror.
But the part of the film that really upset me the most and the part that relates to this blog was the amount of child deaths i saw and learnt of in the space of just this short piece of filming in a Baghdad hospital.
One eyewitness of a bomb attack said: " There were no police or Americans there, just children, and they exploded a bomb in the middle of them."
Ambulance workers have the most dangerous jobs, often arriving at scenes of suspicion and where people are seeking revenge. Ambulances have been stolen and implanted with bombs then blown up purely to cause civilian deaths. Responding to an emergency call an ambulance worker said: "Lots of kids where playing there and they think most of them are killed."
I learnt of a two year old boy who had his face blown off, a seven year old who witnessed all his friends die as he played in the street, a six year old hit by shrapnel whilst his dad and brother died. This last boy was treated with what little resources where left in the Baghdad ER, meaning holes were made in the side of his chest to drain his lungs of blood and a respiratory tube designed for an adult was put up his tiny nose.
The doctor said: "there are 28 million people in Iraq and the only people who are happy are psychopaths."
What i think this film highlighted most and what people in the West are most ignorant of is that just as we cant understand why the Iraqi's are killing each other neither can the innocent Iraqi people. It's only the extremists that are trying to create a divide, the majority of Iraqi people are happy and friendly with Shias if they're Sunni or Sunni's if they are Shia.
There is a dramatic lack of hope amongst the Iraqi people. Dr Ali optimises this sentiment when saying "it will never end".
Tuesday, 13 March 2007
Iraq's children posses an outstanding amount of optimism for their futures despite living in such a worn torn dangerous country. Over the next few weeks I will explore in depth the aid that is being given to Iraq's students, such as the work by UNICEF and their Accelerated Learning Programme, for those that cannot attend regular school classes because of work or family commitments. I will also provide case studies of Iraqi children soldiering on to achieve an education despite personal tragedies and losses.
Monday, 12 March 2007
A Pentagon official has however told The Los Angeles Times today: "This part of the world has an allergy against foreign presence. You have a window of opportunity that is relatively short. Your ability to influence this with a large US force eventually gets to a point that is self-defeating."
This thought is whats leading plans now being made to gradually withdraw combat soldiers from Iraq and place a greater emphasis on training if the current troop increase fails.
As the BBC's online news website puts it: "Since US-led coalition forces deposed Saddam in 2003 insurgents have targeted civilians, Iraqi security forces and international agencies. Tensions between Shia and Sunni Muslims have spilled over into brutal sectarian violence, prompting fears of civil war. Coalition and Iraqi troops have faced armed rebellions and guerrilla-style attacks."
The main reason for America's invasion was based on Saddam's alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Though inspectors later concluded that Iraq had no WMD stockpiles and yet still the war carries on with thousands of civilians, including children, dying for what some might say is now a war without a cause and without a foreseeable ending.
Find out more here:
BBC NEWS World Middle East Country profiles Country profile: Iraq
Friday, 2 March 2007
This graph, taken from the BBC website, shows the predicted civilian death toll between 2003 and 2006.
The death rate is not falling.
This graph can only show a predicted death toll because many deaths go unreported for various inhumane reasons. It's as if the civilians are forgotten amongst the rubble, gun sound and chaos that fills Iraq daily.
Many of the killings involve torture and kidnapping, and are typically sectarian in nature. Most of the victims are men, but women and children are also dying in large numbers.
Children who have barely seen the world are being needlessly taken from it.
Civilian deaths in Iraq can come from many different sources. Insurgent attacks on coalition forces, the Iraqi military and police all tend to create civilian casualties, as can coalition attacks on insurgents.
Civilians also suffer disproportionate casualties when compared with the military. One estimate from US officials in late 2005 concluded that although about 80% of insurgent attacks were targeted against the coalition, the Iraqi population suffered about 80% of all casualties.
Therefore, if the insurgents are not killing who they set out to defeat and deter (the coalition forces) but instead are wiping out the Iraqi population, what is the point of this war and when will it end?
Friday, 23 February 2007
Wednesday, 21 February 2007
Watch the Prime Minister announce the cut in parliament this morning.
Miriam, a Sunni Muslim of Palestinian origin, was threatened by Shiite militias in 2003. She and her family fled to Jordan with just the clothes on their back thinking they would only spend a few weeks there. They have been living in a tent 50 miles from Iraq, surrounded by desert, ever since. Miriam says: "Even a prisoner knows how long his sentence will be." She has to fight depression, and her children frequently face infections and skin disorders from the harsh living conditions. Her three-year-old son, Maan, who was born in the camp, has lesions on his legs and his head was shaved due to a skin disorder.
Tuesday, 20 February 2007
Yesterday it was revealed that once again Iraqi children are dying due to lack of basic resources. Nearly 100 eminent doctors signed a letter yesterday revealing the desperate plight of children who are dying in Iraqi hospitals for the lack of simple equipment that in some cases can cost as little as 95p.
They are backed by a group of international lawyers, who say the conditions in hospitals revealed in their letter amount to a breach of the Geneva conventions that require Britain and the US as occupying forces to protect human life.
In a direct appeal to Tony Blair, the doctors describe desperate shortages causing "hundreds" of children to die in hospitals. The signatories include Iraqi doctors, British doctors who have worked in Iraqi hospitals, and leading UK consultants and GPs.
Doctor's have said: "Sick or injured children who could otherwise be treated by simple means are left to die in hundreds because they do not have access to basic medicines or other resources" and "Children who have lost hands, feet and limbs are left without prostheses. Children with grave psychological distress are left untreated"
If we are so intent on having a war in Iraq should we not at least still provide basic medical care for the innocent bystanders...Iraq's children.
Four years ago, Parliament voted to take us to war, despite the biggest protest movement ever seen in this country, when two million marched. Since then, there has been virtually no debate in parliament, and no opportunity to vote against the war and occupation. On the 20th of March 2007, the fourth anniversary of the Iraq invasion, Stop the War coalition will be hosting a People’s Assembly on the debate that parliament won't have. MPs, US politicians, experts, campaigners and other witnesses will discuss the Iraq war and its consequences. The assembly will be open to all and we welcome and encourage trade union, faith, community and political bodies to send delegates to take part in this event.
Visit the Stop the War website for more details:
Whether pulling troops out of Iraq will improve the lives of Iraq's children is debatable, has a generation of children been scarred for life by the horrific sights they've had to witness? Will they ever be able to regain their innocence?
This article highlights how viewing torture and killing, sometimes daily, has effected Iraq's youth and the games they play. Murder and death have now become normal to them, they appear desensitized to such things. In the Western world we are worried that children that view violent films or representations of murder will then repeat the behaviour they view, in a copy-cat style. In Iraq the children are constantly exposed to killing and no one is shielding there impressionable eyes.