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UN Commission on Human Rights on Iraq
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Saturday, 05 April 2003
In opening the annual debate on the situation of human rights in Iraq in the UN Commission on Human Rights, Special Rapporteur Andreas Mavrommatis stressed April 1 that since "war, with all its horrors" had begun, there is now an "imperative necessity" for continued action to promote human rights in Iraq, and eventually, to ensure the effective application of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights for the future. Meanwhile, the UN office overseeing the humanitarian Oil-for-Food program said it had identified over $1 billion worth of goods and supplies as potential priorities for delivery to Iraq over the next 45 days. According to the Office of the Iraq Program, the deliveries would come under the recent adjustments to the suspended program, which allows Iraq to use part of its oil revenues to buy humanitarian supplies and on which 60 percent of the population depend as its sole source for food. The initial assessment by the OIP and UN relief agencies has identified more than 450 contracts for medicines, health supplies, foodstuffs, water and sanitation and other materials identified by the Council as priorities for shipment, the office said. In other news, as UN relief agencies struggled to move more humanitarian aid into Iraq, stifling heat amid a continuing water shortage emerged as a new threat to the health of the civilian population, especially children. Three tankers, under contract to UNICEF from private companies and carrying almost 100,000 liters of water, managed March 31 to make their way safely to Um Qasr in southern Iraq across the border from Kuwait. Deliveries were made to local hospitals and health centers - making sure that supplies went to those who needed them most.
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