20 April 2003: What UNICEF said at the UN briefing
A refrigerated truck carrying anesthetics, 1,000 blankets, 300,000 packages of ORS and emergency health kits for up to 10,000 patients left Jordan this morning on route to Al-Kindi hospital in Baghdad.
Briefing by Geoff Keele, UNICEF Communication Officer, IRAQ
Today in Safwan in southern Iraq, primary schools opened for the first time since the war began one month ago. Eight schools opened in the city, and UNICEF delivered 40 school-in-a-box kits to support the children on their return to school.
Each kit contains enough learning materials for up to 80 children, as well as teaching supplies for two teachers. So UNICEF's total delivery will aid 3,200 children and 80 teachers in getting back to class.
This is a very important step. Education is one of the primary tools for helping children overcome the trauma of war. It provides stability and a sense of normality in extraordinary circumstances. It occupies children's minds so that they don't dwell on the impact of war. It also provides opportunities for socialization and play, which are also key to children moving past the stress and strain of conflict.
These schools were only able to re-open because of increased stability in this area of the south. I stress again, that with increased security and stability comes opportunities for aid to reach those in need, for people to resume their lives, and for hope to return to the children and people of Iraq.
A refrigerated truck carrying anesthetics, 1,000 blankets, 300,000 packages of ORS and emergency health kits for up to 10,000 patients left Jordan this morning on route to Al-Kindi hospital in Baghdad. Barring difficulties on the road to Baghdad, the truck should be off-loading its supplies this evening.
Among other UNICEF aid deliveries, 500,000 litres of clean water was delivered to Basra, and 11 MT worth of medical supplies and water pumps went to northern Iraq in the past two days.
Also, a total of six metric tonnes of High Protein Biscuits to treat acutely malnourished children have been delivered to Safwan, Umm Qasr, and Zubayr.
An assessment mission went to Nasiriyah yesterday and locals told us that the Primary Health Care Department and Department of Health warehouses were destroyed by a missile during the conflict. These warehouses held a six month stock of health supplies including HPB. The good news is that the health institutions themselves in Nasiriya are functional.
The team also reported that there is limited power in Nasiriyah, and
the Water Treatment Plants are running on generators for only 6 hours
per day. Also, there are limited stocks of water treatment chemicals
and spare parts and tools were looted. There continues to be a lack
For further information please contact us:.
Geoffrey Keele, UNICEF Iraq:
For interviews in the region, write or call directly to the UNICEF NewsDesk in Amman: