HC Deb 24 February 1998 vol 307 c172
18. Mr. Dalyell

What recent representations he has made to the World Health Organisation in relation to Iraq. [29332]

Mr. Dobson

We have made no representations recently to the World Health Organisation about Iraq. We welcome and support the humanitarian work that the World Health Organisation is carrying out in Iraq. It is worth noting that, since 1991, the United Kingdom has contributed more than £94 million in humanitarian and medical aid through bilateral and multilateral sources to Iraq, especially northern Iraq, where Saddam Hussein deployed chemical weapons against his own people.

Mr. Dalyell

Is not now the time to help the children of Iraq, particularly in relation to waterborne diseases?

Mr. Dobson

The British Government have taken the lead in trying to double the amount of oil that the Iraqis can sell to raise money to provide medicine and medical treatment for their people. It is worth remembering that, although the first United Nations resolution went through in 1995, it was December 1996 before the present Government of Iraq were even willing to go ahead with that resolution, which was intended to make food, medical equipment and pharmaceuticals available to the people of Iraq. If anyone is to blame for those materials and that food not getting through, it is the Government of Iraq, not the Government of Britain or the World Health Organisation.

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