Whilst technically food and medicines are not subject to sanctions (although many requests for medical supplies have been vetoed by the UN Sanctions Committee), the inadequacy of the oil-for-food deal means that Iraq has no money to buy these items. Of the supposed $10bn a year available through the deal for humanitarian relief, over 30 per cent is diverted by the UN to non-humanitarian uses. Beyond this, the fall in oil prices coupled with the lack of spare parts for the oil industry means that the projected oil revenue is actually around $4.4bn - less than half what our government claims, and nowhere near what is needed.
Having been to Iraq recently, I can testify that children are starving, people are drinking water contaminated with sewage, and that the sanctions regime has reduced a healthy, well-fed nation to ruins.
Sanctions are a weapon just as devastating as bombs. Both are illegal and immoral.
London, E2Reuse content