Our enemy in this war is the Iraqi regime, not the people who
have suffered under it. As we bring justice to a dictator, we are
bringing humanitarian aid in large amounts to an oppressed land.
The current humanitarian situation in Iraq is difficult,
because of the policies and actions of the Iraqi regime over the last
two decades. The situation varies from place to place within Iraq.
To date, however, there have been only limited humanitarian
consequences of the war itself because, to the extent possible, we have
gone to great lengths to identify, locate and protect humanitarian and
key infrastructure sites.
The United States is currently providing $140 million to
international aid agencies to help the Iraqi people with relief and
post-conflict rehabilitation and 610,000 metric tons of food, worth
To assess needs and coordinate efforts, the United States has
deployed a 62-person civilian disaster assistance response team (DART),
the largest of its kind ever. Among the DART's roles is to facilitate
the work of non-governmental organizations, which will deliver
significant aid in Iraq.
On March 28, 2003, the UN Security Council unanimously passed a
resolution modifying the Oil-for-Food program to help jump-start
resumption of food and medicine shipments and launched its largest
appeal ever for humanitarian aid to the Iraqi people.
The regime has a history of creating humanitarian crises that
increase the suffering of Iraq's people and make the provision of
relief much more difficult, and there is evidence they are doing such
There are a number of other destructive steps Saddam Hussein's
regime may take, including laying mines to prevent ships from providing
humanitarian relief to Iraq; co-locating military assets and civilians;
deliberately targeting civilians; encouraging ethnic violence;
destroying Iraq's infrastructure; and using chemical or biological
weapons against Iraqi civilians and Coalition forces.
The Iraqi people are beginning to see the great compassion of
not only the United States, but other nations around the world who care
deeply about the human condition inside that country. Our coalition
will stand with the citizens of Iraq in the challenges ahead.