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Re: Banned Goods

Dear Elizabeth and everyone else

Just to add to what Colin wrote. Apologies for summarising the state 
of our knowledge (as far as I understand it).


There is no list of things which are _banned_.
There are (long) lists of things which are _permitted_ - the 'green 
lists' which you can see at


Ordinary Iraqi families are not deprived of common daily items such 
as food and clothing and so on by the sanctions committee, but by 

The poverty is caused by the fact that there is mass unemployment, 
and those people who do have jobs are paid in Iraqi dinars which 
don't mean much now (0.04 pence for 1 ID where 1 ID used to be 
2.00 pounds sterling). 

Both the unemployment and the collapse of the dinar are caused by 
the fact that the economy has been closed down by the economic 
sanctions. So sanctions deprive ordinary families of resources, but not 
(mostly) via the Sanctions Committee

Poverty is such that people have to trade parts of their (almost free) 
food rations in order to buy clothes, travel, etc.


The child death rate has more than doubled in large part because 
drinking water is contaminated - because of unrepaired damage to 
water purification plants, water pumping stations, water pipes, sewage 
and sanitation services, and the electrical power system (which 
underpins water purification and distribution).

The Sanctions Committee has blocked some contracts in these 
sectors, but reconstruction was until recently limited mainly by the 
inadequate revenues permitted or possibly with low oil prices. 

The Sanctions Committee did not play the major role in blocking 
reconstruction of the public health infrastructure, and may be about 
to relinquish a lot of 'holds' in these areas next month.


In Voices, we believe it is important not to focus our campaigning on 
the role of the Sanctions Committee. If we campaign against 'holds' 
the answer is to lift them. If we campaign against the Sanctions 
Committee, the answer is to reform it. But our understanding is that 
even if there were no holds, and the Sanctions Committee functioned 
exactly as it was intended to do, there would still be a humanitarian 

Because comprehensive economic sanctions mean a flattened 
economy, and that means mass poverty, and that means hunger and 

Please see our briefing STRANGLEHOLD on the role of the 
Sanctions Committee



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