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Seven years after the imposition of the blockade on the people of Iraq, more than 1.2 million
people, including 750,000 children below the age of five, have died because of the scarcity of food and medicine.

- Verified by the UN, June 1997.

"One out of every 4 Iraqi infants is malnourished. Chronic malnutrition among children under
five has reached 27.5%. After a child reaches two or three years of age, chronic malnutrition is
difficult to reverse and damage on the child's development is likely to be permanent."

- UNICEF and World Food Programmed (WFP), May 1997

The World Health Organization says there has been a sixfold increase in childhood leukemia since 1992. Experts attribute the increase of cancers among the population to the presence of depleted uranium in the missiles used by the Allied Forces

- Lancet Medical Journal 28 February 1998


"Iraq's health system is close to collapse because medicines and other life-saving supplies
scheduled for importation under the 'oil-for-food' deal have not arrived. Government drug
warehouses and pharmacies have few stocks of medicines and medical supplies. The consequences of this situation are causing a near-breakdown of the health care system, which is reeling under the pressure of being deprived of medicine, other basic supplies and spare parts."

- World Health Organizations (WHO), February 1997

Many hospitals are without essential medical supplies and equipment. Diseases such as tuberculosis, diphtheria and malaria, once almost eradicated in Iraq, have made a comeback.

"4,500 children under the age of 5 are dying each month from hunger and disease. The
situation is disastrous for children. Many are living on the very margin of survival."

- UNICEF, October 1996

"Since the onset of sanctions, there has been a six-fold increase in the 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), March 1996

"As many as 12% of the children surveyed in Baghdad are wasted, 28% stunted and 29% underweight."

- UN FAO, December 1995

"Famine threatens four million people in sanctions-hit Iraq - one fifth of the population - following a poor grain harvest...The human situation is deteriorating. Living conditions are precarious and are at pre-famine level for at least four million people. ... The deterioration in nutritional status of children is reflected in the significant increase of child mortality, which has risen nearly fivefold since 1990."

- UN FAO, September 1995

"Alarming food shortages are causing irreparable damage to an entire generation of Iraqi

- UN FAO and WFP, September 1995

"Sanctions are inhibiting the importation of spare parts, chemicals, reagents, and the means of transportation required to provide water and sanitation services to the civilian population of Iraq. What has become increasingly clear is that no significant movement towards food security can be achieved so long as the embargo remains in place. All vital contributors to food availability - agricultural production, importation of foodstuffs, economic stability and income generation, are dependent on Iraq's ability to purchase and import those items vital to the survival of the civilian population"

- UNICEF, 1995

"Children, mothers, the aged and sick were all cared for before 1990, but are now dying while
the outside world mistakenly believes it has solved Iraq's problems with the much-delayed
oil-for-food shipments." The deal "will barely keep the strongest of the population of Iraq on their feet."

- CARE, September 1997


"There is no sign of any improvement since Security Council Resolution 986/1111 ["Oil for Food"] came into force."

- UNICEF, November 1997


Whatever the final amount, it will add up to little more than a Band-Aid, according to the UN humanitarian coordinator for Iraq, Denis Halliday.

In the eyes of the Law:

The blockade against Iraq violates numerous fundamental human rights of the people of Iraq, including their dignity as human beings. Starvation of civilians as a method of warfare is strictly prohibited by international law. The blockade is a violation of the Geneva Convention, UN Charter, Constitution of the World Health Organization, Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States. According to the US legal code Title 18 2331, the blockade on the people of Iraq is also an act of international terrorism.

People might argue that if sanctions are to be lifted, the Iraqi government must abide by UN resolutions. But those people avoid the more important issue of who suffers when the government does not abide.

"We've demonstrated the sanctions don't work, and the cost is appalling, Sanctions have taken an enormous toll on people and have not done anything to unseat the regime. They ought to be lifted immediately."

- Rosemary Hollis, director of Middle East studies for the Royal Institute for International Affairs in London.

The infrastructure (electricity, drinking water, sewage, transport) are falling into ruins and there are no funds to repair them(UN officials). Sanctions are inhibiting the importation of spare parts, chemicals, and the means of transportation required to provide water and sanitation services to the civilian
population of Iraq.

- UNICEF, 1995


Iraq Sanctions Medical Alert Group

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