Agency petitions U.S.

By on February 1, 2004

The humanitarian agency Church World Service (CWS) has urged the United States to allow multilateral participation in the rebuilding of Iraq.

A statement issued by CWS’s board of directors comes in the midst of escalating violence, mounting loss of lives of civilians and military, deteriorating conditions, and international criticism against the U.S. decision to bar France, Germany, and Russia from reconstruction projects in Iraq.

CWS was a vocal opponent of the U.S. pre-emptive strike on Iraq and of military control of humanitarian aid. The organization has provided humanitarian aid to Iraq for more than a decade. Its board expressed “deep concern” about the termination of the Oil for Food Program under United Nations direction. That $46 billion US humanitarian program was transferred to the U.S.-run Coalition Provisional Authority last November. UN involvement in Iraq has steadily declined since the bombing of UN headquarters in Baghdad.

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