The Oxfam charity has issued a damning report on the state of Iraq four years into the occupation.
It accuses the US-British occupation of leaving the country in “deep trauma”.
The British charity found that four million Iraqis, 15 percent of the population, are “food insecure and in dire need of humanitarian assistance”, and cannot buy enough to eat.
Three quarters of the population are without adequate water – up from 50 percent in 2003.
Children are the biggest losers in the occupation, with 28 percent malnourished, compared to 19 percent before the invasion, while nine out of ten children suffer learning difficulties.
Over two million people have been displaced inside Iraq and a further two million have become refugees, mainly in Syria and Jordan.
The Rising to the Humanitarian Challenge in Iraq report concludes that Iraqis are “suffering from a denial of fundamental human rights in the form of chronic poverty, malnutrition, illness, lack of access to basic services, and destruction of homes, vital facilities and infrastructure, as well as injury and death.
“Basic indicators of humanitarian need in Iraq show that the slide into poverty and deprivation since the coalition forces entered the country in 2003 has been dramatic, and a deep trauma for the Iraqi people.
“Iraqis are suffering from a growing lack of food, shelter, water and sanitation, health care, education, and employment.
“Of the four million Iraqis who are dependent on food assistance, only 60 percent currently have access to rations, down from 96 percent in 2004.
“Some 43 percent of Iraqis suffer from ‘absolute poverty’. According to some estimates, over half the population are now without work. Children are hit the hardest by the decline in living standards.”
For the full report go to » www.oxfam.org.uk