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Caritas convoy leaving for Baghdad

Caritas Iraq is sending a convoy of trucks packed with life-saving medicines and supplies into Iraq today from its store in Amman, Jordan.

The two vehicles are carrying $A510,000 of medical supplies including painkillers and antibiotics, as well as bandages, dressings and anaesthetics.

The convoy, which is expected to arrive in Baghdad on tomorrow afternoon, will travel from Caritas Iraq's headquarters in Amman to a warehouse in the capital. From there they will be distributed to Caritas health centres across the country.

"We are confident that these supplies will get through to the people in Iraq who desperately need them," said Caritas Iraq liaison officer Faiq Bourachi. "Security in the city is of course still an issue but we have carried out an assessment and are ready to go ahead with the delivery."

"Our health centres have been working extremely hard to cope with the influx of patients and these medical supplies will help ensure doctors do not have to turn people away."

Sr Maura O'Donohue, an emergency health and nutrition expert from the England and Wales Caritas affiliate CAFOD, has flown to Amman to accompany the convoy.

"I visited the centres before the war and the people were already weak and vulnerable and their condition can only have worsened with the disruption and chaos caused to our programmes by the conflict," she said. "Thousands of Iraqi children are suffering from malnutrition and we need to address this problem over the next months."

Caritas Iraq operates from 14 health centres which are located throughout the country in and around Baghdad, in Basra, Kirkuk, Qarakoush, and Mosul. During the conflict some were able to operate as emergency first aid posts treating the wounded. Besides working with the injured Caritas Iraq also provided civilians with blankets, mattresses and food and medical supplies.

Independent Catholic News

Caritas Internationalis - Iraq | Situation Report 28/4/03
Caritas Australia - Iraq | Caritas to send medical supplies to Baghdad

Iraqi Christian leaders seek full equality in new Iraqi constitution (Catholic News Service)
Iraq's Christian leaders urge their people to renewal (Catholic World News)

2 May 2003