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20 May 2003

Weekly Update

Value of Shippable Priority Items for Iraq

 Approaching $1 Billion Mark 

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 $949 million. Most of these supplies are in the food ($463 million), electricity ($239 million), agriculture ($119 million) and health ($88 million) sectors. 

The UN agencies and programmes actively involved in the review of the Oil-for-Food pipeline - FAO, UNDP, UNICEF, WHO, WFP – are currently looking at additional ‘shippable’ contracts worth some $330 million.  

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.

Despite the jump in the value of shippable items from $778 million to $949 million this week, this upward trend is expected to slow as the 3 June “window” of opportunity for suppliers, provided by resolution 1476 (2003), narrows. 

New Contracts from Escrow

As of 19 May, the Office of the Iraq Programme had received contract applications from WHO for some $22 million worth of essential drugs that were unavailable from the humanitarian pipeline of already approved contracts. Barring objections from the Security Council Sanctions Committee, the cost of the drugs will be met from the Oil-for-Food escrow account.

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