Fwd: Iraq's chilling economic statistics (fwd)

Charles Brown CharlesB at CNCL.ci.detroit.mi.us
Mon Mar 22 07:11:53 PST 1999

Subj: Iraq's chilling economic statistics (fwd)

Date: 3/19/99 7:15:30 PM Eastern Standard Time

From: eschuster2 at juno.com (Eric A Schuster)

To: SocialistsUnmoderated at lefty.techsi.com

--------- Begin forwarded message ----------

March 18, 1999


Iraq's total GDP has fallen to just $5.7 billion, or $247 per capita,

according to estimates by the well-respected Economist Intelligence Unit

in The Economist's newly published annual supplement "The World in 1999."

Just prior to the Gulf War, Iraq's GDP was more than ten times

higher--around $60 billion.

Last year the Economist Intelligence Unit estimated Iraqi GDP at $30.4

billion, or $1,300 per capita. This year's figure represents both a

further precipitous decline, and more accurate estimates.

To put this in perspective, Jordan, Iraq's tiny neighbor has a GDP of



With an estimated per capita GDP of only $247, Iraq, once one of the most

developed countries in the Middle East, is now poorer than many countries

in sub-saharan Africa.

Just this evening I had the opportunity to attend a talk by former UN

humanitarian relief coordinator for Iraq, Denis Halliday. Halliday noted

that Iraq's recurring annual budget needs for health, food and essential

services, is $12-15 billion. With the Oil-for-Food program, which


ran for thirteen months, Iraq gets barely $4 billion.

With a total GDP of $5.7 billion Iraq's economy is worth about the same


four B-1 bombers. It is worth about half of Bill Gates.

The entire Iraqi economy amounts to just 2% (two percent) of the annual

United States DEFENSE budget of $265 billion.

The increase in the US defense budget proposed for next year by the

Clinton Administration ($12 billion) is more than twice the entire GDP of


Just exactly what kind of threat can Iraq present? You do the math.

Ali Abunimah

ahabunim at midway.uchicago.edu



Note: The destruction of Iraq's economy by the sanctions has


changed the life in Iraq: children are dying in greater numbers; families

are breaking apart; educational systems are crumbling ... For more

information, please refer to the articles by Denis Halliday




Iraq Action Coalition


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