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Starvation Doubled in Odessa Since ARA Quit

May 18, 1923
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

"Since the cessation of the work of the American Relief Administration, the number of starving in this territory has literally doubled", Dr. W.E. Haigh of the League of Nations Epidemics Commission reports to the Nansen Relief Mission here. The children are frequently clothed in rages dirty beyond description and, during their long wait in line at the food kitchens, disease is readily communicated from one to the others through lack of the means of cleanliness". The description continues:

"The food given at the Nansen food kitchens is varied and well prepared, and floors and tables are clean. In the poorest quarters, where cholera has spread into almost every house, there are generally about 800 people in line at the food kitchens, of whom 500 are women. At kitchen #3, 1,000 portions are served, including food for the neighboring hospital of the Red Cross. A number of those applying for food bore medical certificates saying that they were convalescents and were entitled therefore to take their food home with them.

"A plate of cereal or soup, half a pound of bread was all they could be given. The ARA reduced its portions for children and, save for Jewish relief, the most recent hospitals opened would have had to close down. The number of these hospitals is gradually falling off…

"The general hospital for contagious diseases, where all cholera cases were sent was in miserable condition and lack of linen only permitted one sheet per bed.

"During the cholera epidemic, the number of those cared for was enormous, hundreds being admitted daily during the worst period of epidemic. The physicians inforn me that it was a veritable nightmare. The morgue during the winter when the ground was too hard to dig graves, frequently held over 1,000 cases of typhus deaths awaiting burial, while last summer, even, there were at times as many as 1,300 cholera corpses in a state of decomposition awaiting burial.

"The number of deaths in the city of Odessa for the first six months of 1922 was 37,715, or 10% of the total population. 12,257 of these were picked up dead of hunger in the streets".

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