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LIFE Co-Sponsors Congressional Delegation to Iraq

9/25/2002 3:17:37 PM


To: National and International desks

Contact: Mohammed Alomari of Life for Relief and Development, 248-424-7493, E-mail: it@lifeusa.org

SOUTHFIELD, Mich., Sept. 25 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Life for Relief and Development (LIFE), an American humanitarian relief organization based in Southfield, Mich., is co-sponsoring a humanitarian visit to Iraq, led by a Congressional delegation in order to gain a better understanding of the humanitarian plight faced by innocent Iraqi civilians still suffering from the destruction caused by the 1991 Gulf War and the continuation of the 12-year embargo. Such an understanding is crucial as our nation contemplates a second major military action against Iraq.

The Congressional delegation, lead by Reps. David Bonior (MI-10th district), Jim McDermott (WA-7th district), and Mike Thompson (CA-1st district) will leave today (Sept. 25) and return next Tuesday (Oct. 1). The Congressmen plan to visit civilian sites, including a hospital, medical clinic, water filtration plant, a food distribution site (under the United Nations 986 "oil-for-food" plan), and the UN humanitarian office in Baghdad.

The delegation aims to learn, first-hand, the challenges imposed by the damaged and substandard infrastructure (drinking water, sanitation, health care, etc) damaged in the 1991 war and still un-repaired due to lack of spare parts as a result of the embargo. Only by gaining a clearer picture of the current humanitarian challenges and those that we may face in the future, will we be able to work to alleviate the suffering of Iraq's innocent civilian population. This suffering will undoubtedly increase if and when another war occurs.

LIFE is officially licensed by the U.S. Treasury Department, the United Nations, and the Iraqi Red Crescent to provide humanitarian relief to the Iraqi civilian population. LIFE has completed a plan of action for emergency humanitarian relief, which will include sending additional medicines, medical equipment, and relief supplies in the event of an outbreak of a new war in Iraq.

LIFE is co-sponsoring this congressional visit in cooperation with the Interfaith Network of Concern for the People of Iraq (a project of the Church Council of Greater Seattle, Washington). The president of the Michigan-based Focus and American and Arab Interests and Relations (FAAIR), Muthanna Al-Hanooti, will also accompany the Congressional delegation.

This congressional delegation is part of the ongoing efforts of LIFE to coordinate its humanitarian relief efforts with other organizations interested in alleviating the sufferings of the civilian population and promoting peace.

LIFE provides medical and relief supplies to the civilian population, and encourages peaceful dialogue between all parties to promote peace and stability in order to avoid the suffering of wars, disease, and malnutrition.

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