Friday, September 07, 2007

THE JONES REPORT RE: LIFE FOR IRAQIS

I don't think the terrible situation the Iraqi people are in has sunk in with the American public. This is from page 33 of The Report of the Independent Commission on the Security Forces of Iraq. Head by retired general James L. Jones, it's also referred to as the Jones Report.


Violence remains a fact of life in Iraq. Those insurgents who perpetrate this violence are elusive, operate covertly, and seek to avoid direct engagement with Coalition and Iraqi forces. While violence has recently declined sharply in the Sunni-dominated Anbar province—the former stronghold of the insurgency—attacks have risen in Diyala, Balad, Basra, and Amarah. Violence remains endemic in Baghdad, despite measurable gains made since the implementation of Fardh al­ Qanoon (the Baghdad Security Plan) in February 2007 by Coalition and Iraqi forces.

Iraq's violent environment has placed its population under extreme duress. Iraq's population at the time of the 2003 invasion was about 26.5 million. Currently, more than 40,000 Iraqis leave Iraq each month. There are at least 2 million Iraqi refugees throughout the Middle East, whose presence places increasing pressure on Iraq's neighbors, and an additional 2.2 million displaced persons within Iraq.28
Seventy percent of Iraqi residents lack adequate water supplies, compared with 50 percent in 2003.29 Twenty-eight percent of children are malnourished, compared to 19 percent before the 2003 invasion. Ninety-two percent of Iraqi children suffer learning problems due to the stress of the war. Sadly, international funding for humanitarian assistance in Iraq has plummeted, from $453 million in 2005 to $95 million in 2006.30

REFERENCES:

28 "Iraqi Refugees Flee War-torn Country," Lehrer News Hour; available at http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/middle_east/july-dec07/refugees_07-26.html.
29Oxfam, "Rising to the Humanitarian Challenge in Iraq," Briefing Paper 105, July 2007; available at http://www.oxfam.org/en/files/bp105_humanitarian_challenge_in_iraq_0707.pdf/download.
30Oxfam, "Rising to the Humanitarian Challenge in Iraq."

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