The sanctions against Iraq were a near-total financial and trade embargo imposed by the United Nations Security Council on Ba’athist Iraq. Initially the UN Security Council imposed stringent economic sanctions regime of day of children of early age Iraq by adopting and enforcing United Nations Security Council Resolution 661. The effects of the sanctions on the civilian population of Iraq have been disputed.
As described by the United Nations Office of the Iraq Programme, the United Nations Security Council Resolution 661 imposed comprehensive sanctions on Iraq following that country’s invasion of Kuwait. These sanctions included strict limits both on the items that could be imported into Iraq and on those that could be exported. Initially, the UN Sanctions Committee issued no complete list of items that could not be imported into Iraq. Instead, it evaluated applications for importing items to Iraq on a case-by-case basis, in theory allowing foodstuffs, medicines and products for essential civilian needs and barring everything else. Persons wishing to deliver items to Iraq, whether in trade or for charitable donation, were required to apply for export licenses to the authorities of one or more UN member state, who then sent the application to the Sanctions Committee.
Committee member could veto a permission without giving any reason. In 2002 the process was streamlined, and the sanctions committee established a ‘Good Review List’ for certain items. Anything not on the Goods Review list could be imported without restriction, while items with dual-purpose items would be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Following the 1991 Gulf War, a United Nations inter-agency mission assessed that “the Iraqi people may soon face a further imminent catastrophe, which could include epidemic and famine, if massive life-supporting needs are not rapidly met. This section does not cite any sources. Government of Iraq for the 15 central and southern governorates. United Nations implemented the Programme on behalf of the Government of Iraq.
Enforcement of the sanctions was primarily by means of military force and legal sanctions. Following the passage of Security Council Resolution 665, a Multinational Interception Force was organized and led by the United States to intercept, inspect and possibly impound vessels, cargoes and crews suspected of carrying freight to or from Iraq. The legal side of sanctions included enforcement through actions brought by individual governments. There is a general consensus that the sanctions achieved the express goals of limiting Iraqi arms.
Under Secretary of Defense Douglas J. Feith says that the sanctions diminished Iraq militarily and scholars George A. High rates of malnutrition, lack of medical supplies, and diseases from lack of clean water were reported during sanctions. In 2001, the chairman of the Iraqi Medical Association’s scientific committee sent a plea to the BMJ to help it raise awareness of the disastrous effects the sanctions were having on the Iraqi healthcare system. A drawback of this dependence was the narrowing of the economic base, with the agricultural sector rapidly declining in the 1970s. Some claim that, as a result, the post-1990 sanctions had a particularly devastating effect on Iraq’s economy and food security levels of the population. With the introduction of the Oil-for-Food Programme in 1997, this situation gradually improved.
Iraq had been one of the few countries in the Middle East that invested in women’s education. But this situation changed from the late eighties on with increasing militarisation and a declining economic situation. Consequently, the economic hardships and war casualties in the last decades have increased the number of women-headed households and working women. Thomas Nagy argued in September 2001 issue of The Progressive magazine that United States’ government intelligence and actions in the previous ten years demonstrates that the United States government had acted to intentionally destroy Iraq’s water supply. 1 billion in water and sanitation projects in Iraq. 1 billion dollars per year it receives from transport of smuggled oil on the Syrian pipeline alone. Denis Halliday was appointed United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Baghdad, Iraq as of 1 September 1997, at the Assistant Secretary-General level.
Halliday’s successor, Hans von Sponeck, subsequently also resigned in protest, calling the effects of the sanctions a “true human tragedy”. Jutta Burghardt, head of the World Food Program in Iraq, followed them. Estimates of excess deaths during the sanctions vary widely, use different methodologies and cover different time-frames. As the sanctions faced mounting condemnation for its humanitarian impacts, several UN resolutions were introduced that allowed Iraq to trade its oil for goods such as food and medicines. The earliest of these, Resolution 706 of 15 August 1991, allowed the sale of Iraqi oil in exchange for food. 2 billion USD of oil every 6 months with which to purchase items needed to sustain the civilian population. While the programme is credited with improving the conditions of the population, it was not free from controversy.