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    establish water bladders for emergency distribution in the event of a total failure of main systems.  In the north of Iraq,

    UNICEF has been facilitating the continuing measles immunization.

          UNICEF staff in Baghdad also report that children in the city are suffering obvious signs of trauma with

    continuous crying, fear of loud noises, nightmares, and so on.  The UNICEF knows from experience in other conflict

    zones that this has a lasting impact on children, and it is one of the many ways in which children are the most

    vulnerable in times of war.

          The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) delivered a fresh shipment of emergency medical equipment, supplies and

    medications to the Al-Ruwaished Hospital.  The supplies are particularly intended to boost the Hospital’s ability to

    assist pregnant women and to save the lives of mothers and their babies.

          The World Food Programme (WFP) said that the government-run food distribution system is still partially

    functioning in south and central Iraq. March distribution of incomplete rations for one month has started in areas not

    affected by the fighting.

          The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that two rapid assessment teams have been sent to the east of

    the country to the Bazyan area after reports of large numbers of people moving from Chamchamal, to monitor the local

    population and also those who have moved into the area.  The WHO says medical supplies are adequate, but

    shortages of some emergency supplies are being reported.  The WHO is working to replenish these supplies and is

    ready to supply fuel for hospitals, should it be required.

          **Statement on Secretary-General-Rice Meeting

          The Secretary-General met yesterday with Dr. Condoleezza Rice, the Assistant to the President of the United

    States for National Security Affairs.  He welcomed Dr. Rice's taking the time to come to the UN to discuss the

    situation in Iraq. The UN and US delegations discussed the humanitarian situation and the requirements for the

    provision of assistance to alleviate the suffering of the Iraqi people so gravely affected by the war.

          The Secretary-General repeated his public call on all parties involved in the war to meet their obligations

    towards civilians under international humanitarian law.  He stressed that the United Nations was prepared to do all it

    could to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people.  However, the UN would have limited capacity to do so

    until security conditions allowed for the safe return of staff to affected areas.  Until then, humanitarian assistance would

    have to be provided by the United States and its coalition partners in those areas under their control, consistent with

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