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Charity CD To Help Iraqi Children

Child victims of the war in Iraq are to benefit from a new CD featuring 18 major artists.

All profits from the album Hope will go to War Child, an international development and relief charity set up following the war in the former Yugoslavia.

The CD, which is released on Monday, includes exclusive performances by acts including Travis, New Order, Paul McCartney, David Bowie and George Michael.

War Child has teams in Iraq to assess what needs to be done and work has already started to reopen a looted orphanage in the city of Nasiriya.

It says around two million Iraqi children suffer from serious malnutrition and that many are "fearful, anxious and depressed".

All the artists recorded their tracks free of charge and London Records has agreed to produce and distribute the album without taking a profit.

Sir Paul McCartney made a live recording of his track Calico Skies during rehearsals for his current tour.

He said: "Whatever the politics, whatever the rights and wrongs of war, children are always the innocent victims so I am delighted to be able to make this small contribution."

Sir Paul said the Hope CD was a "magnificent project" and that he hopes it will go "a long way to alleviating some of the pain and suffering".

In 1995 War Child recorded the album Help with 20 bands and artists, raising more £1.25 million for the children of Bosnia.

War Child has since expanded its role and has projects in many African countries, the Philippines, and the occupied Palestinian territories.

The charity has appealed for support from everyone – whether they backed the war or not.

It said: "Whatever our individual views about the justification for the war, the suffering of children is something none of us can ignore.

"Hope is not a political album; the plight of children transcends politics.

"These songs are a plea for hope, without which the children of Iraq have nothing at all."

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