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Catholic agency worried about 'untold suffering' in Iraq war

Britain's Catholic Agency For Overseas Development (CAFOD) has called upon the country's MPs to press for a peaceful solution to the crisis over Iraq.

The agency has said that any military action, with or without Security Council approval, would cause untold suffering to the ordinary people of Iraq.

CAFOD's Head of Public Policy, George Gelber, said: "The health system and hospitals, already creaking under the strain of sanctions, could not begin to cope with the thousands of civilian casualties that bombing and war would cause. A war would also create tens of thousands of refugees. It is the people of Iraq who would suffer."

CAFOD is the agency affiliated with Caritas Internationalis in England and Wales. It has been working in Iraq for the last ten years and has first hand experience of the appalling conditions that ordinary people already have to endure as a consequence of sanctions.

Gelber welcomed the Iraqi move to re-admit UN weapons inspectors unconditionally, saying that this invitation, if implemented in good faith by all sides, "should lift the threat of war from a people that has already seen health, nutrition and education standards plummet as a result of sanctions".

CAFOD | CAFOD fears strike on Iraq | Iraq, Sanctions and the War on Terrorism (briefing paper)

Independent Catholic News

20 Sep 2002