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13 May 2003

Weekly Update


Medicines, Food and Heavy Equipment Among

Priority Items in Transit to Iraq

 The total value of priority items from the Oil-for-Food Programme’s humanitarian pipeline that can be shipped to Iraq by 3 June has reached $778 million. Most of these supplies are in the food ($356 million), electricity ($179 million), agriculture ($119 million) and health ($81 million) sectors. More than half (55 per cent) of those goods and supplies are already in transit to Iraq.  

The UN agencies and programmes actively involved in the review of the Oil-for-Food pipeline -  FAO, UNDP, UNICEF, WHO, WFP – are currently reviewing  additional ‘shippable’ contracts worth some $350 million. Most of these contracts are in the agriculture, health and food sectors. 

Among the priority items are a floating crane for the removal of shipwrecks now obstructing some berths at the port of Umm Qasr, and harbour dredgers to increase the draft available to ships carrying humanitarian supplies. The crane is expected from Dubai this week and shipwreck removal is expected to begin on 25 May. Among other bulk items in transit are: wheat, rice, barley, sugar, vegetable ghee, milk powder, medicines, vaccines, ambulances with spare parts, irrigation pumps, tractor spare parts, gas turbines, generators and electricity transmission lines. 

Resolution 1476 (2003) of 24 April has given the Oil-for-Food Programme until 3 June to identify priority items identified as food, medicines, health supplies and water and sanitation supplies, for shipping to Iraq. The Office of the Iraq Programme and UN agencies and programmes are continuing to identify the most easily accessible priority items in the pipeline and negotiate with suppliers to speed the shipment of supplies under already approved contracts.  

Media Note

Mr. Benon Sevan, Executive Director of the Office of the Iraq Programme, will brief the Security Council on the implementation of resolutions 1472 and 1476 tomorrow - Wednesday 14 May.

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