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Kiwi aid workers plead for children of Iraq
New Zealand Press, July 17, 1999
Christchurch aid workers Greg and Fay Foster would like to invite Government officials to look through their eyes for one day.
The couple and their children have lived in Iraq for more than two years and say economic sanctions, placed on Iraq since the Gulf War, are crippling the country and killing thousands of innocent children.
They work for an American relief and development organisation, the Mennonite Central Committee, and have had postings in Bangladesh and Jordan. Iraq has been "de-developed by the sanctions", Mr Foster said.
The couple have been working to get urgently needed medical supplies to hospitals. They say Iraq now has cases of cholera and a 600 per cent rise in childhood leukaemia since the Gulf War.
"We are targeting medicines for leukaemia for two reasons. One is that it is for innocent children suffering for something that happened when some of them weren't even born. The other is the atrocious rise in the disease," Mrs Foster said.
The increase was due to the discovery of depleted uranium used in weapons during the war still leaking radiation, she said.
The New Zealand Government was condoning the actions of the United States by allowing the sanctions to continue.
"Maybe it is time to rethink the sanctions, time to say they are not working," she said. "We hear the sentiment that it is worth it in the long run or it is Saddam's fault."
"Well, whoever's fault it is, there are thousands of innocent people suffering and how many people have to die before it is reconsidered as being not worth this in the long run?"
Return to "Stop killing the people of Iraq".