War 2002 and 2003
In 2002, Iraq suffered the effects of depleted uranium and sanctions, along with the increase of unemployment. The country was also in dire need of an upgrade in its medical facilities and water plants in order to be fully functional.
The conflict in Iraq began its first phase in March 2003 and lasted just over a month. A combined force of troops from the United States and Great Britain invaded Iraq and defeated the Iraqi military and paramilitary.
Gift of the Givers Response:
In 2002 representatives of Gift of the Givers visited Iraq in the company of the then Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Aziz Pahad, and provided US$60 000 for the upgrade of water purification plants and hospitals as our response to the severe deterioration of the water and health situation in the aftermath of war, which had led to water-borne disease running rife.
In 2003, we – in association with the then Department of Foreign Affairs – arranged a R7 million humanitarian mission to Baghdad, Iraq. Ours was the only agency in the world afforded the opportunity to fly directly into Baghdad International Airport, thanks to the Department of Foreign Affairs and our missions in Qatar and Kuwait. This enabled us to provide a 40-ton consignment of relief aid, comprising 20 tons of baby milk powder – enough to feed 10 000 children for a month -–and 500 000 water purification tablets to purify 10 million litres of water, as well as tons of medicines, medical sundries, disposable surgical gloves, intravenous fluids, sutures and a wide range of other medical equipment. These supplies were distributed, in conjunction with the Iraqi Red Crescent, to specifically identified areas in Baghdad and its surrounds.