First US Humanitarian Shipment to Iraq [Archives:1998/17/Local News]

April 27 1998

The American public, medical manufacturers and NGOs have together financed a planeload of medical supplies to the Iraqi people. Today, Monday, April 27th, a plane carrying a 34-ton shipment to Iraq took off from Marka airport in Amman to wards Baghdad. Yemen Times as well as a large crowd of journalists, NGOs and well-wishers saw it off.
The effort, organized by Americare under the leadership of Andrew Hanna and Guy Smith – both Vice Presidents of the organization – has been in the works for over six months. “The shipment has been sanctioned by the UN Sanctions Committee and the US State Department,” explained Ms. Mary Harrison, the spokesperson for the mission. Indeed, US embassies in Sanaa and Amman have been just too happy to help the Yemen Times in following the story.
“The shipment includes pain killers, baby formula milk, and numerous medical supplies to combat malnutrition,” said Dr. Stephen Winter, from Norwalk Hospital, Connecticut, who was part of the mission. The group will spend four days in Baghdad.
“Our objective is to provide humanitarian relief, wherever there is need, without regard to political issues,” said Ms. Harrison, who spoke in a press conference before take off at Marka. The Americare shipment was fashioned after last year’s similar mission to North Korea.
In Baghdad, Amman and Sanaa, the general public as well as government officials termed this development as “extremely positive”. “We hope this will lead to a lessening of tension and better understanding between Iraq and the USA,” said a Yemeni official at the Foreign Ministry.