CAFOD convoy heading for Iraq

 CAFOD partner Caritas Iraq is set to send a convoy of lorries packed with life-saving medicines and food into Iraq. The four lorries carrying 20 tonnes of aid will travel from Caritas Iraq's headquarters in Amman to Baghdad from where it will be distributed across the country. They will contain enough medicine to treat 25,000 people and will be divided between hospitals and Caritas Iraq's emergency health centres in Baghdad, Mosul, Kirkuk, and Qarakosh. As well as emergency response medication such as painkillers and antibiotics, the convoy will also contain drugs for chronic conditions such as heart disease and high blood pressure. Caritas Iraq is also bringing in enough special milk powder to feed 10,000 babies. This powder is medicated and designed for undernourished babies. It will be given to mothers under supervision from a nurse and distributed together with water purification tablets. The medicated baby milk will help keep children well in a country where one in eight babies die before their fifth birthday. Caritas Iraq communicator, Caroline Lynch, said: "We are confident that these supplies will get through to the people in Iraq who desperately need them. Security in the city is of course still an issue but we are monitoring the situation all the time and as soon as it is safe we will send the convoy to Baghdad. Our emergency health centres have been working extremely hard to cope with the influx of patients and these medical supplies will help ensure doctors do not have to turn people away." It is hoped that the situation in Iraq will soon become safe enough to allow the Caritas emergency response support team into the country to provide support to Caritas Iraq staff.

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