MON MAR 27 2000 06:03 A.M. G.M.T.
UN aid chief warns of sanctions impact on Iraq's "lost generation"
BAGHDAD, March 27 (AFP) - The international community is condemning a whole
generation of young Iraqis to a bleak and dangerous future under sanctions,
outgoing UN humanitarian aid chief Hans von Sponeck warned on Monday.
"I am angry, I am very angry that it takes such a long time for failed policy
to be rectified," said the German diplomat, who has resigned in protest at
the continued sanctions in force since Iraq's August 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
"You can talk about an embargo generation, a generation of the refrigerator,
you can talk about a lost generation, all of this is descriptively correct.
The schools you go to show an appalling picture," he said in an interview
Von Sponeck, who is to leave his post on Wednesday, said the school drop-out
rate had reached between 15 and 20 percent, compared to almost zero before
The literacy rate has also slumped, from 90 percent to 66 percent, said von
Sponeck, who paid a farewell call on President Saddam Hussein on Sunday.
"The international community is playing a very dangerous game," said the
veteran UN diplomat, warning of the damage to Iraq's children and their
future outlook on the world.
"It could translate into an anti-Western mentality, it could translate into
violence within Iraq, it could have all kinds of negative implications," he
Copyright (c) 2000, AFP
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