The Impact of
the UN Sanctions Against Libya

Excerpts from the Report on the Impact of the UN Sanctions against Libya which was transmitted to Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali by the Libyan Mission to the UN in September 1996:
Sixth comprehensive report on damage caused by the implementation of
Security Council resolutions 748 (1992) and 883 (1993)
during the period from 15 April 1992 to 31 December 1995
     The substantial damage caused in the humanitarian, economic and
social spheres by the coercive and unjust measures taken against the
Libyan Arab people under Security Council resolutions 748 (1992) and 883
(1993) continues to worsen day by day. In addition, all infrastructure
development programmes and plans have been adversely affected, thereby
dashing the hopes and aspirations of the Libyan Arab people to achieve
progress, well-being, development, stability, security and peace. Some
particulars of the enormous physical, material and financial damage
sustained by the Libyan people during the period indicated above are
given hereunder.
                         HUMANITARIAN CONSEQUENCES
                         HEALTH AND SOCIAL WELFARE
     The sector aims to provide for the health care and social well-being
for all members of society and to achieve the noble goals established by
the international community through its international and regional organi-
zations and agencies. The goal of "Health for All" must be pursued so that
all social groups and segments of society can make solid progress and
objectives in the areas of health and social welfare can be achieved.
     In this connection, it should be pointed out that the sector has
sustained enormous material and humanitarian damage, affecting the Libyan
population as a whole and most of the expatriates from Arab and other
friendly countries living in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, as can be seen
from the following examples.
1. Some 15,750 persons living in the Jamahiriya are suffering from serious
medical conditions (cardiovascular disease; fractures of the spinal column
and thorax; fractured skulls; chronic eye diseases; detached retinas:
serious burns; cancer and malignant tumours) which require emergency
treatment (neurosurgery; spinal marrow transplants; kidney transplants;
corneal transplants; fitting of prostheses). Owing to the continuation of
the aerial embargo, these individuals, who could not be treated in local
hospitals and health-care facilities, could not be evacuated by air for
treatment in other countries or for necessary medical examinations and
surgery in hospitals and specialized health-care facilities with modern
equipment. Because they could not obtain treatment, most of these patients
died in tragic circumstances.
2. More than 780 seriously injured patients (most of whom were the victims
of road accidents) died in ambulances en route to airports in neighbouring
countries so that they could be transported by air for treatment abroad in
spite of the difficulties of the overland journey.
3. There have been 1,135 stillbirths and 514 women have died in childbirth
in the various hospitals owing to the shortage of medicines, serums and
vaccines. Prior to the aerial embargo, such supplies had been imported
regularly by air, with the usual precautions being taken to preserve their
efficacy and usability. The Libyan Arab Jamahiriya was able in that way to
meet its needs in this area, particularly in emergency situations.
4. Owing to the aerial embargo and the consequent increase in overland
traffic, there has been a rise in the number of road accidents. As Libyans
have had to take to the roads linking the major cities in the country,
hundreds have been involved in accidents in which they have been killed or
suffered permanent disability. There have been some 15,260 victims of road
accidents, including 2,560 fatalities. The remaining 12,700 victims are
suffering from serious injuries or permanent disabilities.
More than 18,200 public and privately owned vehicles have been damaged,
for an estimated cost of $1,450,000.
5. The number of diabetics who have died has increased, owing to the
unavailability of serums and medicines.
6. The shortage of poliomyelitis vaccine, which continues to worsen, has
impeded the implementation of periodic or annual therapeutic, preventive
and awareness-raising programmes connected with national and international
immunization campaigns with specific timetables. Many Libyan and other
children have thus been prevented from receiving doses at the prescribed
times in accordance with the guidelines of the World Health Organization
(WHO) and national public health laws and regulations.
7. Therapeutic and preventive services for school health programmes have
been suspended, as have the programmes and activities of mother-and-child
health-care centres and centres for the mentally retarded and physically
8. International pharmaceutical companies have been slow in supplying the
health and social welfare sector and hospital establishments with essen-
tial pharmaceuticals and equipment needed to treat and prevent diseases.
9. Companies specializing in the maintenance of air ambulances have
refused to supply the spare parts needed to maintain the country's fleet
and other on-board equipment. These aircraft, which service Libyan citi-
zens and expatriates alike, are no longer able to perform fully their
humanitarian mission, whether in Libya or abroad, given the country's
extensive land area.
10. Delays have consistently occurred in the delivery of some medical
supplies (serums, vaccines, blood products, hormones, reagents used in
AIDS testing, radioactive iodine, etc.) because they are now shipped
overland or by sea. Such supplies are usually shipped by air (so that the
normal measures can be taken to preserve their efficacy); special permis-
sion must now be sought for the purchase of such items. When they arrive
in Libya, most of these supplies (in particular, poliomyelitis vaccine)
have lost their efficacy (having been stored under improper conditions)
which has resulted in an increase in the number of deaths among infants
and women, particularly in childbirth, and disarray in the provision of
health services generally.
11. Losses estimated at around $180,800,000 have been experienced in the
health and social welfare sector owing to the maintenance of the aerial
embargo against the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, which has caused delays in the
shipment of medical supplies. The Libyan Arab Jamahiriya obtains supplies
from specialized international companies to meet the needs of a variety of
institutions (medical schools, technical institutes, rehabilitation
centres and homes for the elderly).
12. Maintenance of the aerial embargo has dealt a serious blow to preven-
tive and curative health services provided under international technical
cooperation agreements. The country is endeavouring to develop, strengthen
and maintain such agreements with various countries in order to develop
the health and social welfare sector and modernize its hospitals with the
aim of providing improved medical, therapeutic and prophylactic services
for all its citizens.
13. The maintenance of the embargo has also impeded cooperation programmes
between the People's Committee for Health and Social Welfare and the
bodies under it, on the one hand, and WHO, on the other. Most of the
visits which international experts and WHO teams were to make to Libya
have been cancelled or postponed, which has adversely affected all the
major health care and preventive health programmes and hampered efforts to
promote and modernize the health and social welfare sector. The failure or
stagnation of international cooperation in this area would prevent Libya
from achieving the targets set by WHO and pursuing the WHO strategy of
"Health for All by the Year 2000".
14. More than 360 medical specialists and highly qualified instructors
from universities and medical centres from around the world have been
unable to come to the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to treat patients with
serious conditions, perform delicate surgical procedures in public hospi-
tals, conduct examinations in the country's medical schools at different
times of the year, and participate in conferences, symposia and courses
organized in the country.
15. The growing shortage of spare parts has resulted in a deterioration in
the maintenance of modern medical equipment used in hospitals and medical
centres. In addition, there is the lack of technical skills in most
hospitals and health establishments in major cities and villages alike.
16. More than 8,500 medical doctors of various nationalities have been
unable to come to the country to work in the health and social welfare
sector because of the difficulties and hardships presented by the main-
tenance of the aerial embargo. Some 6,400 medical specialists in various
fields have not renewed their contracts, which has adversely affected the
quality of health care in the majority of hospitals and other health
                           ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES
     Since 15 April 1992, the implementation of the sanctions under
Security Council resolutions 748 (1992) and 883 (1993) has inflicted
serious damage and caused major financial losses in the agriculture and
animal husbandry sector. These have affected all companies and institu-
tions in the sector, as well as related development programmes. Agricul-
tural output and meat production have fallen off markedly, resulting in
financial losses estimated at $5,982,249,782.
                                  Table 1
              Output                                Shortfall
        --------------------                  ----------------------
        Target         Actual                 Amount          
      (Thousands     (Thousands             (Thousands         Value       
       of tons)       of tons)               of tons)        (dollars)
Wheat    455 502        153 760                301 742       53 922 984
Barley   942 294        369 448                472 846       64 555 289
Legumes   46 243         21 400                 24 843        6 039 750
Fodder   805 994        621 316                285 278       73 807 256
Total  2 250 033      1 165 924              1 084 709      198 325 279
     The transport and communications sector has suffered severely since
the coercive sanctions were first imposed on Libya on 15 April 1992.  Not
only has this sector sustained heavy material damage and financial losses,
but there have been moral and psychological aspects as well, which have
adversely affected the capabilities, aspirations and morale of all trans-
port and communication workers.  Financial losses are estimated at
                       Sector                          Financial losses
Libyan Arab Airlines                                     719 680 000
Socialist Airport Company                                 65 962 500
Light Air Transport Company                               22 337 000
Libyan Arab Air Freight Company                          179 300 000
General Board for Civil Aviation                          49 000 000
National General Maritime Transport Company               56 034 000
Socialist Ports Corporation                                4 000 000
General Postal and Telecommunications Corporation         49 210 000
Road network                                              12 000 000
Total financial losses                                 1 157 523 500
                         III. INDUSTRY AND MINING
     Since the mandatory sanctions under Security Council resolutions 748
(1992) and 883 (1993) were first imposed, the industry and mining sector
has continued to suffer considerable losses and other material damages.
The total financial loss resulting from these increasingly adverse effects
on all aspects of industrial development amounts to approximately
$4,150,677,942, which can largely be ascribed to the following: (...)
                           IV. FINANCE AND TRADE
Like all the other vital sectors, the finance and trade sector has suf-
fered on account of the air embargo imposed on the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
by Security Council resolutions 748 (1992) and 883 (1993). The total
financial losses in the sector are currently estimated at $4,257,000,000,
primarily owing to the following: (...)
The energy sector (petroleum and electricity) has suffered considerable
material losses as a result of the mandatory sanctions applied pursuant to
Security Council resolutions 748 (1992) and 883 (1993), and negative
repercussions have been felt in most of the vital facilities and economic
entities of that sector. The financial losses suffered by the sector are
in the order of $3 billion.
                              [END OF EXCERPTS]
                   Edited by Ingrid Solem

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