Event to highlight the plight of Iraqi child victims

  • Nation
  • Monday, 31 Mar 2003

ALOR STAR: The Malaysian Humanitarian Relief for the People of Iraq (Help-Iraq) will organise a gathering of children here next month to show support for Iraqi child victims. 

Help-Iraq chairman Azmi Hamid said 5,000 children of all races would attend the gathering. 

“We are planning to organise the gathering in the middle of next month and we hope to invite Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Syed Razak Syed Zain to address the children,” he said when met after launching the Help-Iraq fund here yesterday. 

The fund, jointly organised with Seri Malaysia Hotel, has a target to collect up to RM500,000 in three months. 

The money would be used to provide food, clothing and medicine for Iraqi children. 

In Penang, Malaysian Medical Relief Society (Mercy Malaysia) said it is waiting for the mass exodus of Iraqi refugees before sending volunteers to carry out humanitarian work at the Iraqi border areas. 

Its executive council member Dr Mohd Ikram Mohd Salleh said it was not necessary at present to send many volunteers because the refugee camps were practically empty. 

“We are on alert. The moment there is an exodus of refugees out of Iraq, we will immediately send our volunteers to the Iraqi-Jordanian border to carry out humanitarian work,” he said after briefing healthcare personnel at Penang Hospital on Saturday. 

Mercy sent its first team to Amman, Jordan, on March 15. 

The team, comprising paediatric surgeon Dr Lai Fui Boon, physician Dr Jeffrey Abu Hassan and nurse Mathina Bee Gulam Mydin, joined Mercy international relief manager Anita Ahmad and volunteer Dr Zalina Nusi who were already there to co-ordinate humanitarian activities. 

Another volunteer, a former army personnel, left for Jordan on Friday. 

Mercy Penang chapter chairman consultant cardiothoracic surgeon Dr Mohamed Hamzah Kamarulzaman urged more volunteers to come forward. 

“We need as many volunteers as possible because we do not know how long this crisis will last.” 

He said a food fair would be held at the Penang Hospital grounds on April 27 to raise funds for Mercy activities. 

For details, call Hamzah at 012-289 4166 or Maherah at 019-565 6301.  

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