Readers raise nearly pounds 83,000

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The Independent Online
THE INDEPENDENT'S Iraq Appeal has raised nearly pounds 83,000 to help treat more than 2,000 children suffering from leukaemia believed by many to be caused by weapons used during the Gulf war.

Care International and Medical Aid for Iraqi Children, who are working with The Independent, have drawn up a list of medicines needed by doctors in Iraq. Once this list is confirmed with Iraqi health officials the drugs will be bought - the British government and the UN sanctions committee have agreed to authorise the export of the consignment as quickly as possible.

The medicines will then be shipped to the Jordanian port of Aqaba and transported to Baghdad by refrigerated trucks - the no-fly zone over Iraq makes this the quickest route. While the bulk of medicines will go to doctors working in the capital, hospitals in Basra and Mosul will also receive supplies.

Will Day, National Director of Care International UK, said he and teams at MAIC and Care were delighted at the generosity of Independent readers.

"As described so dramatically in Robert Fisk's article, the hospitals in Iraq have very limited resources, so the more money is raised the more supplies we can send to ease the suffering of the young children in these hospitals ... the first step in making sure that we are really helping the children of Iraq is to work with the Ministry of Health in Baghdad and the hospitals concerned to ensure that the most essential medicines, anti-cancer treatments and equipment are delivered.

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