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UNICEF alarmed by plight of Iraqi children in Sadr City


Baghdad : United Nations Children’s Fund on Tuesday expressed concern about the chaotic situation Iraqi children are suffering in Sadr City owing to the systematic air attacks on residential areas.

The Sadr City area of the capital has seen air and missile attacks by the US forces in pursuit of militia.

The UN children’s agency says over 150,000 people there are having difficulty accessing clean water, food and other essential services.

The Iraqi government says almost 1,000 people have died in recent fighting.

Most of those have been civilians, and aid agencies say around 60 percent of them are women and children.

UNICEF is warning that tens of thousands of people are at risk because they cannot freely move within their communities, cut off from clean water and food supplies by snipers or by roads laced with improvised explosive devices.

Fighting has severely damaged water and sewage pipes, posing serious health risks.

There is risk of outbreak of epidemic in the city.

Hospitals are reporting shortages of medical supplies, while other health facilities open and close depending on the ability of staff to turn up for work, and are often in locations too dangerous for patients to use.

The UN children’s agency wants better access to those in need, and is working hard with the government to get water tankers into affected areas and medical supplies to hospitals and clinics.