HONG KONG, May 16 (Xinhua) -- U.S.-led sanctions have destroyed economies, impoverished people and caused needless deaths, reported the South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong-based English-language daily.
The Group of Seven (G7) nations are reportedly ready to announce joint measures to counter the "economic coercion" of an unnamed country. "Well, we all know which country that is. The hypocrisy is just too glaringly obvious to let pass. It's like a mafia don and his lieutenants calling out a petty thief for being a criminal," wrote Alex Lo, a columnist of the daily.
The Washington-based Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) released a new report called "The Human Consequences of Economic Sanctions," a comprehensive study on the horrendous effects of United States or U.S.-led sanctions on targeted populations, with a special focus on Iran, Afghanistan and Venezuela.
"If you want to know how real economic coercion has destroyed whole economies, reduced entire populations to dire poverty and caused countless unnecessary deaths, read (the report)," Lo observed.
Today, a staggering 27 percent of countries are subjected to sanctions of varying intensity. Since collectively they account for 29 percent of world GDP, the sanctions not only impoverish populations but cause a significant drag on the global economy, according to Lo.
U.S. sanctions may cause a decline in income per capita of up to 26 percent in a country, which is equivalent to causing a Great Depression. They also lead to declines in life expectancy of 1.2 to 1.4 years, equivalent to the mortality effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on an average population.
"Like drone warfare, economic warfare waged through sanctions by those who execute them may seem bloodless," Lo said. "But the reality on the ground can be just as terrible." ■