Situation in the Country


Capital: Baghdad.
Area: 438,317 km ².
Population: 31,671,591.
Ethnic groups: Arab 70-75%, 15-17% Kurds, Turkmens 8-9%.
Religion: Muslim 95-98%.
Infant mortality rate: 40.25 deaths per thousand (Italy 5.7 per thousand).
Life expectancy: 70 years or so.
Literacy: 78.2%.
Population below poverty line: 20%.

Mesopotamia, the land of the Sumerians, then the Babylonians, the Assyrians finally. The region of the Fertile Crescent that gave rise to human feeding: cereals, legumes, sheep and cattle. A land which now is desert, with Arabs (75-80%), a Kurdish minority (22-25%) and the Turkomans in the north-east (2-3%). The professed religion is Muslim (97%). 55% of the population is Shia, 42% Sunni. In the last century, the country was shocked by continuous coups. In the end, power is passed to the Ba'th party and, in 1979, to Saddam Hussein. The dictator, supported by the United States and NATO in 1980 declared war on Iran to Ayatollah Khomeini. After 8 years, the war ended without winners or losers.

The first was held in 1990-1991. Iraqi troops occupied Kuwait two years after the end of the war with Iran. Saddam Hussein was drawn from oil wells, but, more importantly, did not want to repay the huge debts incurred in the previous ten years, during the war with Iran. The war in Iraq involved hundreds of thousands of casualties and extensive damage to structural and archaeological heritage. Finally free to express themselves, Kurds in the north and the Shiites in the south revolted against the regime in Baghdad. Kuwait was liberated but Saddam remained in power and continued to defy the UN, circumventing the embargo and the imposition of dismantling the arsenals of war. Another ten years of uncertainty and vacillation of the West, in fear of further introducing restrictive measures against Saddam Hussein. It was feared that, ousting the dictator could encourage Iran to assume the leadership of Islamic fundamentalism and to establish itself as the ultimate power in the Middle East.

The attack on the Twin Towers on 11 September 2001, however, changed in a few hours the international balances. The world was never the same. The U.S. president Bush jr. decided to complete what his father has not ended 10 years earlier. On 20 March 2003, the United States and Britain began bombing Iraq accusing Hussein to possess weapons of mass destruction and to finance international Islamic terrorists. For about 25 years, Saddam Hussein was the president / dictator of Iraq. On 9 April 2003, Iraq became a protectorate of the U.S. military and, since January 2005, a local government has administered the country until December 30, 2006. On this day Saddam Hussein was executed for crimes against humanity. The balance of life in the three-year conflict is at least 100,000 deaths. The sought weapons of mass destruction were never found, while a CIA report of 2002, published in 2008, shows that there has never been any cooperation between the Iraqi regime and Al-Qaeda. But more serious are the results of a study of the United Nations: the general conditions, especially of children, are worse today than before the war.

In the three missions in Iraq in 2004, we donated about 20 thousand euro of medicines and laboratory equipment in Baghdad and Fallujah.





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