By Doug Lorimer:
Iraqi children worse off since US invasion
19 July 2007
Iraqi children are worse off today than they were before the US-led March 2003 invasion, Dan Toole, director of emergency programs for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), told reporters in Geneva on July 16.
“Children today are much worse off than they were a year ago, and they certainly are worse off than they were three years ago”, Toole said. “Nutritional indicators, health access indicators are all changing for the worse.”
Toole said that this was in large part due to Iraqis no longer having access to a government-funded basket of foodstuffs that was established under the regime of President Saddam Hussein in 1991. The system was designed to meet the basic needs of Iraqi citizens in the face of crippling international economic sanctions.
Apart from shortages of items such as milk and baby milk formula, “the basic Iraqi food basket was fairly secure under the [Baathist] regime because there was food coming in and the government provided the food basket to its citizens”, Toole said.
As part of meeting Washington’s objective of replacing the ousted regime’s heavily public-sector dominated economy with a “free market” economy dominated by US and other foreign corporations, the US-backed Iraqi government began cutting the food ration budget in 2006.
See also here.
Children tortured and raped in prisons in Iraq: here.