View Full Version : Guess who's holding up Humanitarian Aid

04-13-03, 02:50 AM

french news
French NGOs refuse army orders in Iraq
PARIS, April 10 (AFP) - French aid agencies have teams in Baghdad and convoys waiting at the borders for the go-ahead to move into Iraq, but are refusing to take orders from US and British troops.

All the major French aid agencies have refused to be placed under the direct responsibility of the centre for humanitarian operations set up by Washington to coordinate the distribution of vital relief aid to Iraqi civilians.

They have also refused to be "embedded" with US and British troops, alongside reporters covering the war and are insisting on conducting operations with strict impartiality.

"Humanitarian aid cannot be viewed as a weapon for achieving military goals," five France-based aid agencies said in a joint statement last week.

"It is not the after-sales service for the war," said the statement signed by Action contre la Faim, Enfants du Monde/Droits de l'Homme, Handicap International, Medecins du Monde, Premiere Urgence amd Solidarites.

Action contre la Faim (ACF or Action against Hunger), which has staff and supplies waiting at the Iraqi border, insisted aid deliveries had to be kept completely separate from military operations.

"If the military are there to provide security, they'll be fulfilling their role. But if they tell us who to give aid to, when and how, then there is no question of us working with them," an ACF official told AFP.

Several aid agencies operating out of Baghdad stressed that the US military should rapidly be focusing its efforts on reestablishing law and order.

Baghdad's hospitals have become a target for the widespread looting in the capital, much to the alarm of two medical aid agencies operating there, Aide Medicale Internationale (AMI) and Premiere Urgence.

AMI said only one of the capital's hospitals, the Saddam Centre for Plastic Surgery, was currently under US military protection.

"Rather than pull down statues for the television cameras, the US military would do better to provide security for Baghdad's hospitals," said one French aid worker on condition of anonymity.


04-13-03, 06:39 AM

04-13-03, 11:42 AM
Just like the french, they want to blow thier own horn, they want the world to see that they are the ones giving aid, of course they still want us to protect them.:thumbdown