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Troops successfully implemented Lithuanian humanitarian assistance projects in Iraq

2004.10.29

While on missions in Iraq, Lithuanian military officers have successfully drafted and implemented two humanitarian assistance projects related to the reconstruction of Iraq – they have renovated an elementary school and provided Iraqi hospitals with necessary pharmaceutical and medical equipment.

 

In the beginning of this year, the Lithuanian Government adopted a resolution to allocate some 100, 000 LTL to humanitarian assistance needs to Iraqi people.

 

A half of the sum was allocated to make major repairs at a school located in the surroundings of the city of Al-Kurna. Lithuanian military officers Captain Arnas Mikaila and First Lieutenant Mindaugas Maštavičius, who are responsible for the project, hired local contractors and took control of works on a basis of the competition held to provide services related to arrangement and accomplishment of renovation works.

 

According to First Lieutenant Maštavičius, representatives of the local authorities and a Danish officer, responsible for humanitarian education projects, assisted in selecting a school for its renovation. The military officers visited several schools and selected the Abin Al Haythan elementary school located in the city of Al-Kurna as an object of the project. At the school, which houses some 400 children, there were no electric power, water supply installed; drainage system was also out operation.

 

Within two weeks, construction workers installed water and electric-power systems, repaired the drainage system, set new doors and windows, mosquito nets and mounted ventilators; they also painted walls and the fence surrounding the school.

 

In First Lieutenant Maštavičius' words, local constructors who worked in the school renovation project also contributed to the project: they carried out additional work free of charge. 70 construction workers working in two shifts have managed to complete renovation work in time – just before the start of the new school year. The outstanding sum amounting to some 300 US Dollars was spent to provide schools with writing materials, notebooks.

 

In return, local Iraqis have drawn the Lithuanian national flag all over corridor wall in the school.

 

The other part of the funds was used to provide two health institutions of the city of Al-Hillah with necessary pharmaceutical and medicine equipment. The project was implemented in consultations with the Health Care Directorate of the Babylon province. Based on the survey conducted among health institutions of the region, a medicine equipment and pharmaceutical list was made and two health care institutions selected: Al Hillah Central Hospital and Maternity and Child Care Clinics.

 

The Al Hillah Central Hospital is the primary health institution providing medicine services to nearly 2 million inhabitants residing in the city and surrounding areas. The hospital houses 311 beds and the largest surgery room in the Babylon province, where some 40-80 surgeries are usually performed a day.

 

A year old clinic provides consultations to some 120-150 patients per day. Medical personnel of the clinics work on voluntary basis with no salary received.

 

The Central Hospital has been furnished with a variety of pharmaceutical and medicine equipment. The pharmaceutical and items of medicine equipment have been purchased in Jordan and Oman through the pharmacy operating in the city of Al-Hillah. According to Lithuanian Lieutenant Colonel Sergejus Draščiukas, involved in the implementation of the project, there is a shortfall of medicament in Iraq and the news about the delivery of medication to the hospital was broadcast via local media. The project was completed in the beginning of October.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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