Gulf war cost Arabs $620 billion, study says

September 08, 1992|By New York Times News Service

PARIS -- The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and the resulting Persian Gulf war have cost Arab countries $620 billion, according to an authoritative report issued Sunday.

The Arab Economic Report, an annual study by the Arab Monetary Fund, the Arab League, the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries and other leading institutions, said that the destruction of oil wells and pipelines, telecommunications, roads, buildings and factories cost Kuwait $160 billion and Iraq $190 billion.

The report was released at a central bankers' meeting in the United Arab Emirates. It said that Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the gulf emirates made $84 billion in direct payments to the United States, Britain and France for military expenses. Payments to Egypt and Syria may have totaled $3 billion to $5 billion.

Direct logistical support for the 600,000 U.S. and allied troops between August 1990 and March 1991, plus the rush to build military facilities, airstrips and camps, cost another $51 billion.

The report said that the war contributed to a drop in gross national product for the 21 Arab countries estimated at 1.2 percent in 1990 and 7 percent in 1991.

Much of this decline came from the suspension of oil exports from Kuwait and Iraq and an inflation rate that rose to an average of 20 percent a year.

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