Iraq Death Statistics
The UN-imposed economic sanctions have been in place since the end of the Gulf War in 1991. While the sanctions have had little effect on the policies of the Iraqi Government, they have taken a chilling toll on the civilian population.
During the Gulf War, US-led Coalition forces dropped 88,500 tons of bombs on Iraq, more than were dropped on Europe during WWII. Targets included electrical generating plants, water treatment facilities, and sewage treatment plants. Because of the sanctions, Iraq has been unable to repair or replace these facilities which are vital to the health of the entire civilian population. As a result, disease has been rampant.
The Iraqi Ministry of Health estimates that 109,720 persons have died annually between August 1990 and March 1994 as a direct result of the sanctions.
>From The Children are Dying: Reports by UN Food and Agriculture Organization. Since August 1990, 567,000 children in Iraq have died as a consequence of the sanctions.
THE LANCET, Volume 346 Number 8988. Saturday December 2, 1995.
After the sanctions, there was a two-fold increase in infant mortality and a five-fold increase in under-5 mortality.
The LANCET Volume 346, Number 8988. Saturday December 2, 1995.
There are 4,500 children under the age of 5 dying each month from hunger and disease. In Central/Southern Iraq, 27.5 percent of Iraq's three million children (some 900,000) are now at risk of acute malnutrition.
Due to the hazards of the water supply, government statistical office figures show 1,819 cases of typhoid fever in 1989 and 24,436 cases in 1994. Similarly, there were no reported cases of cholera in 1989, but 1,345 cases in 1994.
>From "The Children are Dying": Reports by UN Food and Agricultural Organization.
Fifty percent of rural people have no access to potable water.
Waste-water treatment facilities have stopped functioning in most urban areas.
UN Department ot Humanitarian Affairs
In rural areas, only half the people have access to a water supply from a network, public tap, or well, and only 34 percent have a sanitary type of latrine.
Article 48 of the Geneva Convention reads: It is prohibited to attack, destroy, remove or render useless objects indispensible to the survival of the civilian population such as food, livestock, agricultural areas and drinking water installations.
"Whatever the intent of these sanctions, the means violates the most basic tenets of Catholic Moral Theology moreover, they violate international law by targeting civilians and the infrastructure necessary for their existence."
Bishop Thomas Gumbleton & Catholic Bishops
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