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15 April 2003

Weekly Update

5-11 April 2003

Review of Humanitarian Pipeline Confirms Priority Items worth $395 million can be Shipped by 12 May  

An ongoing review of priority items in the Oil-for-Food pipeline for Iraq has so far identified $395 million worth of supplies that are “shippable” within the 45-day timeline adopted last month by the UN Security Council.  

Most of the goods confirmed with 137 suppliers are in the food ($181.7 million), agriculture ($103.8 million) and health ($46.1 million) sectors. Most were already in transit at the onset of the war and will be routed to strategic locations in Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Kuwait and Iran for transhipment to Iraq. 

The Office of the Iraq Programme and six UN agencies and organizations (*) continue a race against the clock to identify priority items specified by the Security Council – food, medicines, health supplies, water and sanitation equipment and supplies – that can be extracted from the pipeline and shipped by 12 May as required in resolution 1472 (2003) of 28 March. 

Starting with a primary list of 526 contracts the UN found that the most common reason for suppliers dropping off the list was their inability to meet the Council’s shipping timeline.  

Potential Suppliers Beaten by the Clock 

On 7 April, the Oil-for Food Programme posted notices on its website and through the Permanent Missions of 100 UN Member States asking suppliers to make urgent contact if they had approved contracts for any of the Council’s priority items. Hundreds responded and the Programme has recorded their offers, but few will make the 45-day limit. The programme has however retained contact information for these suppliers in the event that the resolution is extended beyond 12 May. 

(*) UN agencies and programmes actively involved in the review of the Oil-for-Food pipeline are: FAO, UNDP, UNHCR, UNICEF, WHO, WFP. 

Wheat arrives in Kuwait City

The first Oil-for-Food shipment since resolution 1472 arrived in Kuwait late last week. Some 50,000 tons of wheat was delivered and part of the consignment was immediately offloaded for milling into flour. The World Food Programme will manage surface transportation to warehouses in Iraq.

A second wheat shipment of 50,000 tons is expected at the Jordanian port of Aqaba within days.


Financial Status of Oil-for-Food Programme

The Oil-for-Food Programme currently has $3.2 billion in uncommitted funds in its escrow account and $10.3 billion worth of humanitarian goods and supplies in the production and delivery pipeline for Iraq. Approved but unfunded contracts total $6 billion.

Additional information is available from the website of the Office of the Iraq Programme. For further information please contact Ian Steele email: steelei@un.org