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Humanitarian Assistance: Meeting the Needs of the Iraqi People

Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
April 11, 2003 (PDF)



Humanitarian Relief Efforts in Iraq



Construction workers unloading humanitarian aid at an Iraqi port. [Source: USAID]

Humanitarian aid ship arrives at Iraqi port. [Source: USAID]

US soldier cares for an Iraqi chiild. [US Marines, Staff Sgt. Robert Knoll]

Iraqi girl carries humanitarian aid from a distribution point. [Source: US Department of Defense]

The U.S., in coordination with nearly 50 coalition partners, as well as international organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), is committed to providing humanitarian assistance to the people of Iraq—to save lives, alleviate suffering, and mitigate the impact of emergency situations and years of abuse under Saddam's regime.

Iraqi boys receive humanitarian aid. [US Department of Defense]

Areas of Focus

  • Health and medicines
  • Water and sanitation
  • Food and nutrition
  • Emergency shelter
  • Protection against reprisals and human rights monitoring
  • Humanitarian infrastructure

President Bush has requested $2.4 billion to create a new, flexible account focused on relief and reconstruction for the people of Iraq. These funds will provide food, water, and medicine. They also will be used to repair long neglected or damaged infrastructure, restore important government services, and keep schools open. Total resources assigned to Iraq relief and reconstruction, including Department of Defense funding, will be approximately $3.5 billion.

The U.S. Agency for International Development has deployed a 62-person interagency civilian Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), the largest of its kind ever. It is evaluating humanitarian needs, exchanging information and facilitating funding and delivery of humanitarian assistance by NGOs, UN agencies and the military. Its members are experts in health, food, water and shelter, logistics, transportation and procurement.

For the past several months, the U.S. has pre-positioned stockpiles of emergency supplies and commodities including food, medicines, health and hygiene kits, blankets, plastic sheeting for emergency shelter, and water containers and tanks. Preliminary supplies have been distributed and many more of these supplies will soon be reaching the Iraqi people.

US Navy ships off the Iraqi coast. [US Department of Defense]The U.S., in coordination with nearly 50 coalition partners, as well as international organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), is committed to providing humanitarian assistance to the people of Iraq—to save lives, alleviate suffering, and mitigate the impact of emergency situations and years of abuse under Saddam's regime.

"We go into Iraq to disarm the country. We will also go in to make sure that those who are hungry are fed, those who need health care will have health care, those youngsters who need education will get education."

— President George Bush

IMMEDIATE RELIEF


The President has requested approximately $2.4 billion
for relief and reconstruction efforts in Iraq, including
:
  • Approximately $543 million for humanitarian relief

  • To date, over $124 million has been directed to the UN
    and international organizations
The U.S. is also making available an estimated 670,000 metric tons of food:
  • Already, enough food has been shipped from the U.S.to feed 4.5 million Iraqis for one month

  • 3 million daily rations are also available, the largest
    number ever deployed


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