The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Sharrock article in The Guardian

I've just emailed this letter to The Guardian:

Letter to the Editor
The Guardian

26 April 1999

        David Sharrock (April 24, “Iraq is falling apart. 
We are ruined”)  refers to a report by Kofi Annan, UN 
Secretary-General, in February 1999 indicating that $275m 
of supplies and medicine from the UN’s Iraqi oil sales 
programme have not been distributed from Iraqi government 
warehouses. He then quotes an unnamed ‘officer in the 
relief field’ as believing that this is being done 
deliberately by the Iraqi government. 

        Sharrock does not cite the reasons given in Annan’s 
report for the stockpiling: 'lack of modern managerial 
tools', 'poor working conditions within the warehouses', 
'lack of transport for moving the supplies', 'the rigid 
hierarchy in the Ministry of Health administration which 
makes it difficult for functionaries to approve deliveries 
without approval of superiors'; over-prescribing by 
physicians and the Iraqi Ministry of Health's desire to 
prevent waste of medicines by controlling supplies more 
tightly; and 'superiors may have deliberately withheld 
supplies in anticipation of emergency needs' after tensions 
increased as of September 1998. This last point refers to 
bombing by US and British air forces. 

        It should also be noted that, in June 1998, the 
World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended increased 
stockpiling of medicines. According to Annan at the time: 
‘WHO has indicated that a more substantial reserve is the 
only practical solution to the procurement cycle with a 
delay of some four to five months before the start of 
arrivals’. Annan also reported Iraqi government subisidies 
of around 80% of the cost of medicines for public purchase. 
While the Iraqi government does impose terrible suffering 
on many Iraqis in some areas, it is not at all clear that 
this is one of those areas.

Dr. Eric Herring
Department of Politics
University of Bristol
10 Priory Road
Bristol BS8 1TU
England, UK
Tel. +44-(0)117-928-8582
Fax +44-(0)117-9732133

This is a discussion list run by Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To be removed/added, email, NOT the
whole list. Archived at

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]