5 million Iraqi orphans, anti-corruption board reveals Voices of Iraq

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Baghdad, Dec 15, 2007 (VOI) Iraq's anti-corruption board revealed on Saturday that there were five million Iraqi orphans as reported by official government statistics, urging the government, parliament, and NGOs to be in constant contact with Iraq's parentless children.

"The government should set up an institutional or legislative program to help the Iraqi orphans.  Iraqi is an oil-rich country and it is not acceptable that its orphans remain groaning in this tragedy," the anti-corruption board chief, Moussa Faraj, said during a conference in Baghdad dedicated to orphans in Iraq.  "The board on its own cannot meet the Iraqi orphans' needs, but there should be an organization or even a ministry to provide care for orphans," he said.  The Iraqi parliament's women & family committee had proposed a draft law to set up a fund for the orphans.

During the conference, Wijdan Salem Mikhail, the Iraqi minister of human rights, said in a speech that the phenomenon "is one of the most passive things that grew immensely during the past few years due to destructive wars and unbridled violence in the country to unprecedented heights."

"These factors have logically caused the number of widows and orphans to greatly increase," she said.