Global Policy Forum

Iraq Says Sanctions Kill Nearly 9,000 in April

June 13, 2001

Iraq said yesterday that nearly 9,000 of its people, mainly children, had died in April from diseases it blamed on a decade of UN sanctions. The Health Ministry said 5,712 children under the age of five had died of diarrhoea, pneumonia, and malnutrition-related diseases compared to 374 deaths in same period in 1989, a year before the embargo was imposed.

The official INA news agency quoted the ministry as saying 3,255 people had also died of heart problems, diabetes, kidney and liver diseases and cancer, compared with 532 deaths from such causes in 1989. INA said the latest figures brought to 1,498,926 the number of people who had died since the United Nations imposed sanctions in August 1990 following Baghdad's invasion of Kuwait.

Britain and the United States are trying to promote a new system of "smart sanctions" that would ease restrictions on imports of civilian goods while tightening controls on weapons- related imports and oil smuggling to Iraq's neighbours.

Iraq last week halted oil exports in protest against a Security Council resolution extending the oil-for-food programme for only one month instead of the usual six. The 30 day-period is intended to give council members time to continue negotiations on the U.S.-British plan to overhaul sanctions against Baghdad.

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