Sir: Patrick Cockburn is wrong to say that Iraq is unique in having its economy destroyed by UN-imposed sanctions ("Sanctions and heat take toll on Iraq", 8 August). As a result of the sanctions imposed by the UN from 1992 to 1996, the economy of the Yugoslav republics of Serbia and Montenegro was reduced to 25 per cent of its pre-sanction levels and the highest inflation rates ever were recorded, exceeding even the well known cases of inter-war Germany and latter-day South America.
In common with Iraq, the mortality rates of the young and elderly increased massively, particularly amongst the 600,000 refugees from other former Yugoslav republics. In addition to economic sanctions, cultural links were also prohibited.
Levels of malnutrition did not reach the same levels suffered by the Iraqi people but this had more to do with the climate, agricultural practice and a more even-handed government strategy than any concern from the UN or, for that matter, Western newspapers.
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