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Iraq

Volume 400: debated on Wednesday 26 February 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on the humanitarian consequences of war against Iraq, with special reference to medical aid. [98733]

The Iraqi people are already very vulnerable, their coping strategies worn away by years of misrule. Any disruption to their current situation could lead to a serious humanitarian crisis. The Government is committed to minimising the suffering of the Iraqi people. In the event of military action a key priority will be to re-establish critical humanitarian infrastructure as quickly as possible, including the Iraqi hospitals, clinics, sanitation facilities and water treatment plants which already suffer from a terrible lack of maintenance. The medical risks of the use of chemical and biological weapons are horrendous. Most traditional deliverers of medical aid are not adequately prepared for the worst case scenarios.

11.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when she last met representatives of the Kurdish people to discuss human rights in Iraq. [98737]

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office regularly meets with representatives of the Kurdish people to discuss a wide range of issues, including human rights.