15 July 1998
Food-for-oil deal harms Iraqs farmers

THE United Nations (UN) oil-for-food deal with Iraq is harming farm output in that country, reports the Financial Times.

The UN imposed sanctions on Iraq in 1990 which have damaged the countrys economy and prevented imports of badly need spare parts for repairing infrastructure.

Iraq has now turned to the UN for help. Under the food-for-oil deal, Iraq can export $5.3 billion of oil every six months to buy humanitarian supplies.

But the arrangement is harming local agricultural production because under the deal everything is imported. The deal is structured to prevent any funds from falling into the hands of Baghdad.

The Financial Times says the whole arrangement makes little sense to the farmers, especially when they find out that the only buyer for their wheat is the government in Baghdad – at a price that farmers say barely covers their costs.

  • Financial Times 15/07/98 page 6