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]

Re: [casi] study on effects of ``limited war''?

Dear Fay,

The 11th voices uk delegation to Iraq were given a short document written by
UNICEF's representative in Baghdad, Carol de Rooy entitled 'Household Food
Security in Iraq: Some Food for Thought' and dated 20th February 2002.

Noting that 'households' dependency on the food rations has evolved over the
past decade to almost total dependency' de Rooy writes that 'As the
psychological warfare against Iraq continues to be waged, the nightmare
scenario that emerges is the (involuntary or voluntary) interruption of the
food-basket that is distributed to all Iraqi families on a monthly basis.'

Noting that 'food market prices are extremely sensitive to any changes in
the political arena' and that 'after September 11th, the prices of the
food-basket itsm increased drastically and the WFP [World Food Programme]
had to intervene' he goes on to pose three questions:

a) What is the likelihood of the food distribution in S/C [South / Centre]
Iraq being interrupted in the near future?

b) What would happen in terms of security of food distribution were


c) Does the WFP have the capacity to rapidly distribute 350,000 metric tons
/ month [ie. the current Government food ration] in S/C Iraq if required?

The note continues:

'We believe that interruption of food distribution is possible. Pregnant and
lactating women as well a yopung children are the most likely victims. Chaos
would be the immediate effect. Very rapid intervention by the WFP (in the
midst of chaos) would be required to avoid further deterioration of
malnutrition and even famine on a large scale.'

The following extracts from Save the Children's recent document 'Iraq
advocacy strategy, March 2002' concerning the impact of military
intervention on children in Iraq may also be useful:

'Bombing Iraq would lead to a humanitarian disaster for which the
international community would bear a heavy responsibility ...

The combination of degraded infrastructure and ration dependency is a
product of the international community’s policies on Iraq, and the UK
accepts in principle this international responsibility. Any attacks that
targeted sectors used for ration distribution (eg transport) or for public
health (eg water, sanitation, electricity) would be an attack on children’s
ability to survive.'

The same document notes that:

'The international community is partially responsible for the creation of
unprecedented levels of dependency in Iraq through rations: Save the
Children’s household economy assessment (HEA) of Northern Iraq has revealed
an unprecedented level of ration dependency there . There is no HEA data for
the centre and south. However, UN accounts of nutrition, child morbidity and
mortality show that aggregate indicators of poverty are worse, which
suggests that household economies may be in a worse situation .  The ration
system needs to be changed, but dependency levels are so high that any shock
to the system would lead directly and inevitably to a humanitarian disaster,
as any risk-mapping based on Save the Children’s recent HEA would show.

'Iraq’s system of food warehousing and distribution system is vulnerable:
Save the Children has no information on the food distribution system in the
South and Centre of Iraq. However, the distribution system in the
semi-autonomous North gives cause for concern. The MOU between the GOI and
the UN specifies that the North’s food reserves should be held in the GOI
controlled cities of Kirkuk and Mosul. Save the Children estimates that food
stocks in the North would not last more than a few weeks if communications
between those cities and the North breaks down. Warehousing and distribution
systems in the Centre and South could be equally vulnerable to shock.'

Best wishes,

voices uk

-----Original Message-----
From: F.Dowker <>
To: <>
Date: 10 June 2002 12:30
Subject: [casi] study on effects of ``limited war''?

>Dear Dirk,
>you wrote
>``One very high-ranking official of a UN-related organisation, whose name
>I won't reveal (because he asked), told us off the record that there has
>been a study about the effects of a limited American invasion, only to
>topple SH and to turnover Iraqi leadership. The results of this study are
>quite astonishing: there would be hundreds of thousands of deaths among
>the civilian population, mainly because of the collapse of the rationing
>system and the vulnerable Iraqi economy.''
>Are you able to give any details about this study? Can we obtain it
>without compromising your source? Most list members know
>enough about the parlous and precarious state of Iraq's civilian
>and economic infrastructure not to need a study to confirm this,
>but it would be very useful in countering
>pro-war propaganda when war on Iraq is back on the media agenda.
>It's always useful to be able to quote a credible study.
>+  Fay Dowker                       Physics Department               +
>+                                   Queen Mary, University of London +
>+  E-mail:       Mile End Road,                   +
>+  Phone:  +44-(0)20-7882-5047      London E1 4NS.                   +
>+  Fax:    +44-(0)20-8981-9465                                       +
>+  Homepage:          +
>Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
>To unsubscribe, visit
>To contact the list manager, email
>All postings are archived on CASI's website:

Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To unsubscribe, visit
To contact the list manager, email
All postings are archived on CASI's website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]