Published: Monday 15 January 1996

Sanctions are killing kids in Iraq, according to a report published in a British medical journal, Lancet, early this month. More than half a million Iraqi children have died as a consequence of sanctions imposed by the United Nations. The report, prepared by two public health experts, questions the moral, financial and political stance of the unrelenting international community. Since August 1990, when the sanctions started as a punitive measure against the Saddam Hussain regime, 567,000 children have died due to this alone, says the report.

Iraq has repeatedly cold-shouldered UN offers to sell US $2 billion worth of oil to buy food and medicine. The sales would be overseen by UN authorities, which is not acceptable to the Iraqi govemment, as it infringes on its sovereignty. The researchers found a two-fold increase in infant mortality and a five-fold increase in deaths of children under five.

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