Starvation of children in Syria – sanctions and the politics of revenge

Kasturi Sen

DOI: 10.20529/IJME.2014.017


As Syria completes two years of western sanctions (2011–13), their dramatic effects on health are being highlighted with first reports of starvation deaths among children in the suburbs of Damascus. Although heavy fighting has taken place in this area, experts had predicted for some time the unworkability of sanctions for regime change, arguing that only civilians would pay the price in a country (Syria in this case) which was once well on the way to meeting the Millennium Development Goals 4 targets on reducing child mortality. In this, as in the case of other “sanctioned” countries, it is not just “civilians” but the most vulnerable among them – children, who are experiencing the tragic consequences of sanctions.

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