About Us

MAIC was registered as a British Charity in February 1995 and was in operation until 31st July 2009. Its purpose was to donate medicines and medical equipment to paediatric hospitals in Iraq. MAIC is a non-political and non-governmental organisation.

MAIC was founded in response to the rapid deterioration of health conditions for children in Iraq. This was due to the collapse of the health care system as a result of the imposition of UN Sanctions on Iraq in 1990 and the ensuing Gulf War of 1991. Between 1995 and 2003, MAIC operated under the strict bureaucratic rules of the UN Sanctions. The Sanctions created a great impediment for the speedy delivery of urgently needed aid to Iraqi hospitals. There were unreasonable delays in acquiring the United Nations approval along with the issue of the export licence from the Department for Trade and Industry.

Following the 1991 Gulf War, Iraq’s infrastructure was left completely devastated. Economic and humanitarian conditions rapidly declined and the sanctions harmed the most vulnerable of Iraqi society; women, children, the poor, the elderly and the sick. The Sanctions were lifted after the 2003 War on Iraq.

Figures from international health and aid organisations, as well as UN agencies published during the UN Sanctions period 1990-2003, estimated that around 6,000 children were dying every month. It was estimated that 1 million children, especially those under five years of age, were affected by malnutrition. A total of 570,000 have died from malnutrition and disease between 1990 and 1996. Since then, this figure is estimated to have reached over 1.5 million. Marasmus and rickets, two major malnutrition diseases, have also risen dramatically among children.

Referral hospitals witnessed a sharp increase in the number of children with cancer, especially leukaemia, which accounts for 70% of total cancer cases. Children are increasingly suffering from Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Wilm’s (nephroblastoma) and neuroblastoma. Diseases such as hepatitis, Sturge Weber Syndrome, and encephalitis are also on the rise.

The 2003 War and the ensuing escalation of violence added further devastation to an already shattered health care system. Scores of civilians particularly children died and many more were injured and maimed. Furthermore, the looting of hospitals and the outbreak of disease due to contamination of the water and the pollution of the environment added major hazards to the dilapidated health system. The trauma of two wars and the mounting violence have traumatised children. It is estimated that 500,000 children are in need of psychological treatment.

MAIC was amongst a handful of charities that started operating in Iraq in the 1990s. Since its inception in 1995 it has played a significant role in saving the lives of children. MAIC donated and delivered medical equipment valued at £3.5 million to 33 paediatric hospitals located in the North, South and Centre of Iraq. Many of these hospitals received medical supplies on a regular yearly basis until 2003. Since then unfortunately with the escalation of violence we have had to limit delivery to only those hospitals in areas that are safe to reach. Between January 1995 and July 2009 it is estimated that MAIC was able to offer treatment and save the lives of more than 350,000 children and has offered nine Iraqi doctors short training programmes in UK hospitals. MAIC ceased operation on 31st July 2009.

For information on the closure of MAIC please see Newsletter 14 Autumn 2008.



©2009 MAIC Medical Aid for Iraqi Children. Registered Charity Number 1044222