Sunday, August 12, 2007

Dubya's pre-vacation checklist

The BBC World Service has issued its updated report, Iraq Violence: Monitoring the Surge, for August 10, 2007.

The weekly report examines casualty figures, the pressure on hospitals, and quality of life for ordinary civilians. The graphics and analysis are based on figures from the US and Iraqi authorities, Baghdad's hospitals, and three families from different neighborhoods in the capital. The following is from the "Economics" section of the report.

Fuel shortages remain a major problem for Iraqis, with long power cuts and fuel queues a common feature of civilian life, particularly in Baghdad.

Most neighbourhoods in Baghdad are suffering food and gas shortages because of the three-day curfew during the Kadhimiyia shrine visit.

People are complaining of soaring food prices caused by the high cost of transporting food to Baghdad and difficulty in getting gas.

The Adhamiyia district is suffering food shortage because food trucks have not been allowed access for five days after the US forces and Iraqi National Guards raided the district and imposed a curfew there.

Bush Pre-vacation ChecklistElectricity was cut for the entire week there. People whose relatives are killed have to carry their coffins by wooden cart to bury them inside the graveyard of Adhamiyia.

People there find it hard to get bread because of the lack of power and gas.

Two main petrol stations in Baghdad were attacked last week, which led to more long queues and hours of waiting.

Because of the lack of electricity and fuel, most people have to line up to buy ice blocks to get cold water. A block of ice costs 10,000 Iraqi dinars ($8).

Also, a loaf of bread has doubled in price since a month ago, and is now 100 dinars.

Due to the shortage of water, some families have started to dig wells. It costs 125,000 dinars to make a well.

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