Skip to main content

Iraq: Economic Sanctions

Volume 592: debated on Thursday 30 July 1998

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked Her Majesty's Government:What is the purpose in 1998 of the economic sanctions against Iraq; and whether, since they were initiated, the original purpose has been achieved. [HL3026]

The sanctions regime was imposed by the UN in August 1990 after Iraq's illegal invasion of Kuwait. The purpose of these sanctions is to ensure that Iraq complies with its obligations under the relevant UN resolutions, including the dismantling of its weapons of mass destruction under international supervision. Iraq remains far from compliance. At the most recent review of sanctions on 25 June the Security Council agreed unanimously that Iraq had failed to fulfil its obligations under the UN resolutions and that the sanctions regime should therefore remain in place unchanged. Sanctions have contained Iraq for eight years, thus preventing it from threatening its immediate neighbours and the wider Middle East region.

asked Her Majesty's Government:What is their estimate of the number of children (a) malnourished and (b) dead in Iraq as a result of sanctions; and on what evidence is that estimate based. [HL3028]

The Government of Iraq have provided no epidemiological research data on either the number of malnourished children or the mortality rate in Iraq before and since 1990. The Government are therefore not in a position to make an assessment of whether or not incidences have increased since 1990.Since sanctions were imposed, the international community has done its utmost to protect the Iraqi people from the effects of sanctions. Food and medicine have never been subject to sanctions and the UN "oil for food" programme now permits Iraq to export $5.3 billion worth of oil over a six month period. Since 1991 the UK has donated £74 million to Iraq in bilateral aid and a further £27 million via the EU.