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PALESTINE - Aug. 5 - Palestinian Children Underfed.

At news conferences in Jerusalem and Gaza City the US Agency for International Development and CARE International release their report, which says that malnutrition among children under the age of 5 in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank has reached emergency levels and ranks among the highest in the world as a result of security measures imposed by the Israeli military. The reports also finds that more than half the Palestinian population in the two occupied territories were forced to decrease food consumption in recent weeks. The reasons are a lack of money and military curfews that kept families confined to their homes for days at a time and restricted commerce and the transport of food supplies. Gregg Greenough of the Johns Hopkins University schools of medicine and public health in Baltimore, one of the participants in the research, said 22.5% of Palestinian children suffer from acute or chronic malnutrition. That, he said, was equivalent to levels found in Chad and Nigeria and higher than rates in Bangladesh and Somalia. The Israeli government, which offered its own medical experts in a separate news conference, did not contest the findings. It said Palestinians had rejected its offers of medical and health assistance in recent months. It stressed that although many Palestinians suffered from malnutrition because of inadequate diets, they were not going hungry. Israeli government spokesman Daniel Seaman said: "Israel is doing everything it can to fight terror without harming the general population". (Israeli officials have consistently denied any intention of making life hard for Palestinian civilians, but have insisted that occupation of their towns and checkpoints on their roads are necessary to reduce the chances of Palestinian suicide bombers reaching Israeli territory to carry out attacks).
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Publication:APS Diplomat Recorder
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:7PALE
Date:Aug 10, 2002
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