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Living in fear

2006-05-12 10:31


  PICTURE this. A four-year-old girl is lying in the arms of a doctor. She has just become motherless. Her pink clothes are bloodied and her eyes stare at something only she can see. She has suffered from a bombing (轰炸) near her home in southern Iraq.   想象这刻骨铭心的一幕:一个四岁女孩正靠在医生的怀里。她刚刚失去母亲,身上粉色的衣服血迹斑斑。她在专注地盯着什么,但那东西却似乎只有她能够看得见。她仍然活在伊拉克南部的家园遭受轰炸的创伤之中。

  Every day we see images like this on our televisions. We see young Iraqi children begging for food and water from American and British soldiers as they move through towns and cities towards the capital, Baghdad (巴格达). We see these children following grown-ups, carrying bags of belongings almost the same size as their small bodies as they flee their homes in Baghdad.   每天我们都会在电视上看到这样的镜头。我们看到伊拉克孩子向那些进军巴格达的美英士兵乞讨食物和水;我们看到这些孩子背着几乎和他们瘦弱的身体一样大的行李,随着大人们逃离他们在巴格达的家。

  They represent just some of the young lives that have been turned upside down by the ongoing war. And they show the terrible price being paid by Iraqi children.   而我们所看到的也仅仅是遭受战争磨难的年轻生命中的一小部分,但仅仅这些就足以表明伊拉克孩子为这场战争付出了多么惨重的代价。

  "Dad, why are the Americans striking us? Are we going to be killed?" asks the son of Abu Sinar, an Iraqi engineer. Abu finds it hard to explain this war to his eight-year-old son.   “爸爸,美国人为什么攻打我们?我们会死吗?”,面对8岁儿子提出的这个问题,伊拉克工程师阿布?希那尔(音译)竟不知道该怎样回答。

  He tries to comfort him by saying: "The bombs are far away from us. The Americans are fighting the soldiers. We're going to be all right." Even though Abu knows this isn't always the truth.   阿布安慰儿子说:“轰炸离我们还很远。美国人是和士兵交战。我们会没事的。”但他知道,事实并非总是如此。

  In southern parts of the country, like Iraq's second largest city, Basra, the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF,联合国儿童基金会) is working to repair the damage caused by fighting. The organization is working to provide clean water and restore electrical power, said Geoffrey Keele, a UNICEF spokesman.   在包括伊拉克第二大城市巴士拉的南部地区,联合国儿童基金会正在修复被战争毁坏的设施。基金会发言人杰弗里?科尔(音译)说,他们正在致力于恢复供水、供电。

  But little else can be done. In Baghdad, parents give their children sleeping pills (安眠药) to try and let them escape the sound of exploding bombs. And all the schools are closed.   但仅仅如此而已。在巴格达,为了让孩子们安睡而不被轰炸声惊醒,父母们让孩子服用安眠药。而且,所有的学校都关闭了。

  "All they can do is listen to and hear the war," said Keele. "There is suffering in Baghdad. It is clear that the bombing is affecting the mental well-being (心理健康) of the children."   “他们能做的就是湮没在战争的声音里,”科尔说。“显而易见,轰炸对孩子们的心理健康有很大影响。”

  Despite UNICEF's efforts, dirty water is being blamed for cholera (霍乱) outbreaks in southern Iraq. Diarrhea (腹泻) is spreading among the children, sometimes leading to death.   尽管联合国儿童基金会进行着不懈的努力,不洁饮用水还是导致了霍乱肆虐伊拉克南部。腹泻在孩子们中迅速蔓延,有时甚至导致死亡。

  Nearly 50 per cent of Iraq's population is under 15 years old. And 30 per cent of them already suffered before the war from malnutrition (营养不良), according to international aid organizations.   伊拉克近一半人口是不满15岁的儿童。国际援助组织资料显示,在战前他们中已有30%饱受营养不良之苦。

  Now the situation is worse, but continual fighting makes it impossible to count the number who are hungry, sick, injured or even dead.   现在,形势更是每况愈下。但持续的战争让人们无法统计究竟有多少儿童在忍饥挨饿,多少受着疾病、伤痛困扰,而又有多少在战争中丧生。

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