Lifeline for children as funds flood in

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The Independent Online
THE INDEPENDENT's Iraq appeal has reached a total of pounds 60,000.

The figure has surpassed the expectations of everyone involved and will allow us to supply the Iraqi children with even more life-saving supplies than first envisaged.

Professor Soad Tabaqchali, medical director of Medical Aid for Iraqi Children (MAIC), estimates our funds will allow us to treat well over 2,000 children.

The bulk of the money will be spent on anti-cancer medicines but we will also be providing the children with urgent nutritional supplements.

Howard Bell of CARE International UK, which is already helping to feed 10,000 children in Iraqi hospitals, said: "The absence of basic medicines is having tragic humanitarian consequences. But the lack of basic nutrition is an equally desperate problem which affects thousands of people.

"There are especially acute shortages of vital supplements for infants such as lactose-free infant formula. This life-saving product treats children who have developed lactose-intolerance as a result of chronic malnutrition, gastro-enteritis and diarrhoea."

Professor Tabaqchali, who has extensive contacts in Iraqi hospitals, is helping us put together a delivery of the medicines and supplies most urgently required.

Since MAIC was established in 1994, she has organised the sending of medicines, milk and medical equipment including incubators worth approximately pounds 323,400 to paediatric hospitals all over Iraq.

The receipt and use of the medicines we send will be verified by staff at CARE (0171 379 5247) and MAIC (0171 724 3379) as well as other independent sources. Both charities are happy to answer questions and accept donations after our appeal ends.

Please send cheques, made out to The Independent Iraq Appeal, to PO Box No 6870, London E14 5BT.