Report, 30 April 1998
Analysis of Children and Women in Iraq"*
Direct quotations and summary* information:
Health - increase of approximately 90,000 deaths yearly due
to the sanctions (more than 250 people die every day) (pg.
Oil for Food plan - not reduced widespread suffering, nor provided
supplies in full, in a timely manner (pg. 2)
"The increase in mortality reported in public hospitals for children under
five years of age (an excess of some
40,000 deaths yearly compared
with 1989) is mainly due to diarrhea, pneumonia and malnutrition. In those
over five years of age, the increase (an excess of some 50,000 deaths
yearly compared with 1989) is associated with heart disease, hypertension,
diabetes, cancer, liver or kidney diseases. … With the substantial increase
in mortality, under-registration of deaths is a growing problem." (pg.
"Malnutrition was not a public health problem in Iraq prior to the embargo.
Its extent became apparent during 1991 and the prevalence has increased
greatly since then: 18% in 1991 to 31% in 1996 of [children] under five
with chronic malnutrition (stunting); 9% to 26% with underweight malnutrition;
3% to 11% with wasting (acute malnutrition), an increase in over 200%.
By 1997, it was estimated about one million children under five were [chronically]
malnourished." (pg. 23 and 63).
"To address malnutrition efficiently, attention must be directed to all
causal levels - direct (diet and health); underlying (household food security,
care, water/sanitation, health services) and basic (education, resources
- material, financial, human and organizational)." (pg. 74)
"The situation throughout Iraq remains to be one in which Child's Right
to Survival and for the health care decreed by the Convention on Rights
for the Child remains subject to overwhelming risks to life and health
generated by the economic hardship." (pg. 40)
"[Before the 1990 sanctions] primary medical care reached about 97% of
the urban population, and 78% of rural residents. … [Now] the health system
is affected by lack of even basic hospital and health centre equipment
and supplies for medical, surgical and diagnostic services. … In 1989,
the [Iraqi] Ministry of Health spent more than US$500 million for drugs
and supplies; the budget is [now] reduced by 90-95%. … Although SCR 986
[the Oil-for-Food programme] is meant to provide US$210 million for each
six month period of the Phase I and II, only US$80 million (i.e., 20%)
had been received as of November 15, 1997." (pg. 7 and 40)
(Lack of ) Water Sanitation - resulting in increases in diarrhoea,
typhoid, cholera, and viral hepatitis (pg. 52)
"The Oil-for-Food plan has not yet resulted in adequate protection of Iraq's
children from malnutrition/disease. Those children spared from death continue
to remain deprived of essential rights addressed in the Convention of Rights
of the Child." (pg. 3)
"As of March 15, 1988, of the allocations [from the Oil-for-Food plan]
for medicines/health, about 75% has arrived in-country for the South/Centre
and 50% of the North; for water/sanitation, 59% and 27%; education 37%
and 45%; and for electricity/power 48% and 10% each respectively for South
Centre and North." (pg. 18)
Economy - breakdown of socio-cultural fabric of the society,
due to economic collapse (pg. i)
"It is likely that lack of safe water and sanitation has contributed greatly
to the steep rise in malnutrition rates and mortality. In accordance with
[the Convention on the Rights of the Child], the goal for the year 2000
for universal access to safe drinking water and sanitary means of excreta
disposal, is unlikely to be achieved with the continuation of the embargo."
"Water treatment plants lack spare parts, equipment, treatment chemicals,
proper maintenance and adequate qualified staff. … Plants often act solely
as pumping stations without any treatment… The distribution network, on
which most of the population relies, has destroyed, blocked or leaky pipes.
There have been no new projects to serve the expected population increase
over the past seven years." (pg. 32)
Education - [military] Gulf War and sanctions resulting in limited
access to and poor quality of education (pg. i)
"By September 1995, the UN's Department of Humanitarian Affairs estimated
about 4 million Iraqis (about 20%) lived in extreme poverty. … The purchasing
power of the local currency has been greatly reduced, … from US$3 = 1 Iraqi
Dinar (ID) in 1990 … to about US $1 = ID1,500 in 1997." (pg.
"Basic causes of malnutrition are dominated by the economic situation where
the GDP per capita has [been] reduced from $3500 to $600 and the current
salary of public workers now averages about $3 to $5 per month, compared
with $50-100 prior to 1990. … Accessibility to food beyond the amounts
provided through public rations is limited by soaring food prices. … At
least 80% of a family's income is spent on food." (pg. 27
"Historically, Iraq has given education a high priority. However, the protracted
economic hardship on Iraqi population has seriously affected every level
of formal and informal education…. The extent of destruction of the education
sector as a result of the [military] Gulf War was extensive." (pg.
"As the unprecedented trend of declining school enrollment continues unabated,
so does the related violation of the national Compulsory Education Law.
Iraq, once honoured by UNESCO for its active promotion of Education, is
now experiencing the unavoidable compromise of the Convention on the Rights
of the Child for education. … Information on access to education does not
indicate the quality of education, nor the decline in school facilities.
These include lack of the most basic school supplies such as blackboards,
chalks, pencils, notebooks and paper (designated as "non-essential" by
the Sanctions Committee), inaccessibility to any water, and absent or defunct
sanitation." (pg. 87-88)
"84% of all schools need rehabilitation. … The Oil for Food programme is
providing a rather limited contribution to the improvement of [these] conditions."
(pg. 88 and 96)