Red Cross Denies Aid to Iraqi Children

At the outset of the war in Iraq known Russian paediatrician Leonid Roshal came forward with the initiative to establish a "green corridor" for evacuating injured children from the war-stricken country. Now he accuses the International Committee of the Red Cross /ICRC/ of the failure of his initiative. It was the Red Cross that must have arranged the corridor, but did not even make an attempt, the doctor said at a Moscow news conference Friday. He believes the ICRC was scared.

The Committee offered weak excuses, according to Mr Roshal, saying the kids should not be separated from their parents and should be given aid in Iraq. The idea to evacuate wounded children worked perfectly well in Afghanistan, recalled the medic. He insisted the Committee's arguments were formal.

The Red Cross is doing a great job providing humanitarian aid /to Iraq/. However, it appears to be afraid of taking certain decisions. Maybe a new organisation of that type should be set up, employees of which would not be scared to perform their duty, the doctor asked rhetorically.

Russia has not thus far received the ICRC's reply as to how many children have been wounded in Iraq and what assistance they need, recalled Mr Roshal.