To meet the needs of the liberated people of Iraq, the United States-led coalition is mounting one of the largest humanitarian assistance programs in history. After decades of poverty and misery caused by the Saddam Hussein regime, the Iraqi people are now getting help says U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell:
"And there is a huge amount of humanitarian equipment and supplies that are now moving in. Hospital kits are moving in to reestablish health care. Water is beginning to flow in the southern cities. Day by day the situation will improve and the N-G-Os [non-governmental organizations] and other humanitarian organizations and U-N organizations will be able to accomplish their work."
More than six hundred thousand metric tons of food is en route from America to the Iraqi people. The U.S. Agency for International Development is providing blankets, hygiene kits, plastic sheeting, water tanks and water-treatment units.
Australia is providing one-hundred thousand tons of wheat. Japan is sending ten-thousand tons of rice. A relief ship from the United Arab Emirates is on its way with seven-hundred tons of rations, first-aid kits, water, and other supplies. A Spanish field hospital will soon be established in the port city of Umm Qasr.
While meeting Iraq's emergency requirements, the U.S. and its allies are working with Iraqis to restore electrical power, potable water, sanitation services, hospitals, and other essential infrastructure. President George W. Bush summed up the effort in these words:
"In recent days, we have brought food and water and medicine to the Iraqi people. We're delivering emergency rations to the hungry. We are bringing aid to long-suffering people of Iraq. And we are bringing something more: we're bringing hope."
The problems facing the Iraqi people are large. But they now have the freedom to solve them. And they will have the help of the United States and many other nations.