End the Sanctions Against Iraq, Urges Caritas-Europe

MADRID, Spain, FEB. 22, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Caritas-Europe has called for an end to sanctions against Iraq, labeling them “humanly catastrophic, morally indefensible, and politically ineffective.”

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Caritas-Europe, a network of organizations embracing 48 Caritas of 44 European countries, made the appeal after its delegation visited Iraq at the start of the year.

Julian Filochowski, director of CAFOD, the English Caritas, said: “We are not trying to apologize to the Iraqi regime, but we do want to apologize to the Iraqi people.”

Iraq´s infant mortality rate is among the highest in the world. One-fourth of the children under age 5 suffer from chronic malnutrition. Only 41% of the population has access to potable water, and 83% of the schools need essential repairs, according to Caritas-Europe.

Denis Viénot, president of Caritas-Europe, said: “Our recommendation is simple, clear and can be applied rapidly: The sanctions against Iraq must be suspended immediately.”

Caritas´ international network has been supporting humanitarian aid programs in Iraq for years, through Confrérie de la Charité, Iraq´s Caritas.

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ZENIT Staff

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