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The Effects of Iraqi Sanctions


Santions are an act of war. The lack of food and medicine, and deteriorating sanitary conditions in Iraq have actually caused more harm and suffering than the military war itself.

1. The international trade sanctions imposed on Iraq have caused the death of more than 1.7 million people(August 1999 UNICEF Report), more than 4,500 children under the age of five are dying each month from hunger and disease (October 1996 UNICEF Report).

2. Since the onset of sanctions, there has been a 6-fold increase in mortality rate for children under five and the majority of the country's population has been on a semi-starvation diet.-World Health Organization (WHO), 1996.

3. As many as 12% of the children surveyed in Baghdad are wasted, 28% stunted and 29% underweight. -UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), December 1995.

4. According to the WHO, in 1989-90, 96% of the population in Iraq had access to clean drinking water. By 1994, it had dropped to 45%.

5. Under the oil-for-food deal, Iraq is permitted to sell $5.2 billion of oil every six months. Only 53% of the revenue goes to humanitarian aid. The remaining 47% goes for such things as funding the UN Special Commission--the body responsible for weapons inspections in Iraq, of which there have been over 9,000--and funding the UN Compensation Commission. On June 25th, the UN awarded almost $2.8 billion to several oil companies, including more than $500 million to a subsidiary of Texaco, Inc. for equipment and facilities that were damaged when the U.S. led a 43-day war against Iraq in 1991. These oil companies that make tens of billions of dollars a year were paid out of the UN Compensation Commission. This leaves 20 cents per day for every man, woman, and child.

6. Out of the 500 humanitarian contracts put forth for approval by the UN, the UN has accepted only 28 contracts worth $27 million. The implementation of food and medicine contracts is being are being deliberately blocked.

7. Pre-war Iraqi health system was the most advanced in the Middle East, with approximately 98% of the population having access to this system. Today, the health system is near collapse, not a single tablet or injection had reached Iraq from the UN oil for food program by May of 1997.

8. The oil-for-food deal cannot solve the health problems in Iraq and it's not meant to. The oil-for-food deal is and always will be used by the U.S. to divert attention from the genocidal effects of the sanctions.

9. Approximately 95% of Iraq's population had access to clean drinking water before the Gulf War. Today, only 21% have access to clean water and this is the result of aggressive bombing campaigns of purification plants and sewage treatment plants.

10. 70% of the seeds and spare parts used in Iraq's agriculture were imported. No spare parts, agricultural seeds, pesticides, adn fertilizer, are allowed to enter Iraq.

11. International and domestic U.S. law prohibits the use of economic santions and is considered to be a form of International terrorism.

12. Coercive measures against civilians in order to effect change in their government's are acts of international terrorism (US Legal Code Title 18 2331).

Compiled by Amnesty International at George Mason University

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