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Monday, April 14, 2003

In testimony to the UN Security Council the executive director of Medecins Sans Frontieres - USA (Doctors Without Borders - USA), Nicolas de Torrente, has expressed concern that the US/UK coalition's highly visible "hearts + minds" campaign with humanitarian aid in Iraq will fuel suspicion of all humanitarian activities, and international aid personnel.

He also said that:

In Iraq ...the political agendas and military strategies of the warring parties have resulted in nearly completely shutting out independent humanitarian assistance.

and that...

The situation in Afghanistan gives us (MSF) reasons to be worried. After the demise of the Taliban, fighting, tensions and instability have persisted. The perceived association between Western military forces and humanitarian aid organizations has become a serious security liability, not only restricting access to many areas of the south and southeast of the country, but also jeopardizing their safety.