groups begin Iraqi relief effort
Local peace activists have begun to launch a fundraising campaign for
al-Jumaily of Life for Relief and Development will speak at 7
p.m. April 24 in MSUs B 102 Wells
were not able to stop the onset of cholera, there will be more
deaths in addition to the thousands of civilian war causalities,"
said Okemos resident Shrikumar Poddar, organizer of the Greater Lansing
Network against War in Iraqs relief campaign.
The local relief effort will be launched April 24. Ghanim al-Jumaily,
the co-founder and CEO of the Detroit-based international relief organization
Life for Relief and Development will speak at the kickoff event at MSU.
"Iraq is in a very bad shape," said al-Jumaily, a Detroit
resident, after returning from Iraq, the country of his birth, two weeks
ago. The relief organizer said that patients were being left alone or
even thrown out of hospitals, which have been heavily looted. Laboratory
equipment, medications, and even chemicals were stolen due to a lack
of security. "It is worse than in Afghanistan," said al-Jumaily.
In addition to medical aid, emergency supplies such as beds, sheets
and plastic gloves are most urgently needed.
Before the U.S.-Britain invasion began, 80 percent of Iraqs population
depended on supplies provided through the "Oil for Food" program
led by the United Nations. The program ended shortly before the war
Al-Jumaily said his organization is working with local authorities to
establish a network for delivering goods. "As we speak were
delivering already to our hospital in Basra," he said, referring
to a clinic that his organization runs in one of the poorest neighborhoods
of the southern Iraqi city. The organization, which is headquartered
with 12 staff employees in Detroit, runs offices in Iraq, Jordan, Syria,
and West Africa.
The International Red Cross reports from Baghdad that although security
remains volatile, a degree of calm has returned to the city center.
Red Cross engineers working with local technicians have successfully
re-established the water supply for the Al-Sadr area of Baghdad (formerly
Saddam City), reaching an estimated 800,000 to 900,000 inhabitants.
A major water-pumping station had been damaged during the bombings.
Local peace activists of the Greater Lansing Network against War in
Iraq are also working with a Philadelphia-based Quaker group called
American Friends Service Committee, which has shipped several thousand
hygiene kits to Iraq. The GLNAWI relief campaign plans to raise $10,000
in an initial relief fund, with an ultimate goal of $50,000. This would
enable GLNAWI to assist Life for Relief and Development in a project
to build a new water purification plant in Iraq. GLNAWI is planning
a benefit concert and walkathon in May to raise funds.
Contributions to GLNAWIs Iraqi relief fund can be made to the
International Service Society, 2601 Cochise Lane, Okemos, Michigan 48864-2055.
to respond? Send letters to email@example.com.
our Letters policy.