The Iraq Living Conditions Survey 2004 (ILCS), a new joint study by Iraq and the United Nations Development Programme, shows the “tragic situation of the quality of life in Iraq” according to Barham Salih, Iraq’s Minister of Planning. The survey consists of data gathered in interviews with nearly 22,000 Iraqis across all of Iraq’s provinces, and is the first time such data was collected. Among the key findings:
- Between 18,000 and 29,000 Iraqis have died since the US invasion of Iraq, with between 2,100 and 3,500 of those being children (12%).
- Nearly 1/4th of children aged between six months and five years are malnourished and more than one in ten children under eighteen suffer from general malnutrition.
- 25% of homes in the northern regions of the country have suffered military damage.
- Only 47% of urban households (and 3% of rural households) have a sewage connection.
- Piped water is available for many but much of it is unsanitary and one-third of Iraqi households have an unstable supply of water.
- 98% of households are on the electrical grid, but for 78% of households the supply is unstable.
Meanwhile, a new report by the Project on Defense Alternatives titled “Vicious Circle: The Dynamics of Occupation and Resistance in Iraq,” places the various resistance efforts in Iraq within the broader context of opposition to the occupation. The report, citing the fact that US troops are viewed as occupiers that cannot be trusted and widespread opposition to the occupation of Iraq, considers a variety of reasons why Iraqis are against the occupation. Among the reasons documented in the report are nationalism, war-related fatalities, and “coercive practices” such as house raids and street patrols, all of which have contributed to popular discontent.