Why are children dying?
  Starving Iraqi baby Hussein is dying of starvation because his parents simply can't afford to feed him.


By Paul Eedle in Baghdad

Whose fault is it that Iraqi children are dying of hunger and disease? Medicine and essential foodstuffs are not included in the UN sanctions which have banned almost all imports and exports by Iraq for the last eight years. So why aren't enough supplies getting through?

There's so much propaganda and political manoeuvering by all sides about this that the truth is buried very deep. Here's what I've been able to find out:

1. It's true Iraqi children are dying who could be saved.

In Baghdad's children's hospital, I saw one girls with lukaemia who's recovering because her parents could afford 40,000 dinars for the best chemotherapy drugs, and another who's dying because all the hospital can give her for free is a cheaper, less effective substitute. 40,000 dinars is only US$30, but as much as a doctor earns in 10 months.

In the emergency ward, there are
children sick with hunger who don't need any drugs at all. They just need food, and their families can't afford it. Government rations cover only about half the food a family needs and don't include any meat at all. People who can't earn enough to buy extra food are simply starving. The UN estimates a million Iraqi children don't have enough to eat.