Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Iran/Iraq

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Iran/Iraq

Article excerpt

Nearly Half of Iraqis Poor, Hungry, U.N. Finds

A joint report by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization and the World Food Program revealed that almost half of Iraq's 26.3 million citizens are poor and in need of assistance, according to the Sept. 24 Arab News. Despite a better grain harvest and the lifting of economic sanctions, the U.N. reported, about 60 percent of Iraqis are unemployed and dependent on public rations for food. The U.N. agencies said lack of sanitation is still a problem, as are water shortages, with Baghdad residents receiving a daily maximum of 18.5 gallons.

The effects of war, the sanctions and a severe drought from 1999-2001 have seriously eroded the ability of Iraqis to make a living, the report noted. Hardest hit have been about 300,000 refugees and internally displaced persons, the report said, adding that the plight of mothers and children in central and southern Iraq is of particular concern.

Iraq's Governing Council Bans Arab TV Channels

The Sept. 24 Arab News reported that Iraq's Governing Council decided to limit for two weeks the operations of two Arab satellite channels, Qatar-based Al-Jazeera and Dubai- based Al-Arabiya, which the council has accused of "encouraging terrorism. …

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