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Sanctions Have Become Weapons of Mass Starvation

Anis Chowdhury and Jomo Kwame Sundaram write in Inter Press:

"US and allied economic sanctions against Russia for its illegal invasion of Ukraine have not achieved their declared objectives. Instead, they are worsening economic stagnation and inflation worldwide. Worse, they are exacerbating hunger, especially in Africa… Even when supposedly targeted, sanctions are blunt instruments, often generating unintended consequences, sometimes contrary to those intended. Hence, sanctions typically fail to achieve their stated objectives.

Many poor and food insecure countries are major wheat importers from Russia and Ukraine. The duo provided 90% of Somalia’s imports, 80% of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s, and about 40% of both Yemen’s and Ethiopia’s.

It appears the financial blockade on Russia has hurt its smaller and more vulnerable Central Asian neighbors more: 4.5 million from Uzbekistan, 2.4 million from Tajikistan, and almost a million from Kyrgyzstan work in Russia. Difficulties sending remittances cause much hardship to their families at home.

Although not their declared intent, US measures during 1982–2011 hurt the poor more. Poverty levels in sanctioned countries have been 3.8 percentage points higher than in similar countries.

Sanctions also hurt children and other disadvantaged groups much more. Research in 69 countries found sanctions lowered infant weight and increased the likelihood of death before age three. Unsurprisingly, economic sanctions violate the UN Convention on the Rights of Children…"

Learn more: Sanctions Now Weapons of Mass Starvation