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28 May 2003

Weekly Update  

Value of Shippable Priority Items for Iraq Exceeds $1 Billion

 The total value of priority items from the Oil-for-Food Programme’s humanitarian pipeline that can be shipped to Iraq for emergency needs has reached $1.1 billion. Most of these supplies are in the food ($515 million), electricity ($261 million), agriculture ($182 million) and health ($128 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 contracts worth some $330 million, and the volume of these items destined for Iraq is expected to accelerate with a six month extension of the Programme to 21 November, adopted under Security Council resolution 1483 on 22 May.

Resolution 1483 (2003) lifted civilian sanctions; gave the Secretary-General authority to appoint a Special Representative to work with the occupying forces in rebuilding Iraq; opened the way for the resumption of oil exports, with revenues deposited in a Development Fund for Iraq held by the Central Bank; and provided for the termination of the Oil-for-Food Programme within six months, transferring responsibility for the administration of any remaining Programme activities to ‘the Authority’ representing the occupying powers. The Council has called on the United Nations to assist the Iraqi people, in coordination with ‘the Authority’, in a wide range of areas, including humanitarian relief, reconstruction, infrastructure rehabilitation, legal and judicial reforms, human rights and the return of refugees, and also to assist with civilian police.

In its “phasedown” prior to closure on 22 November, the Office of the Iraq Programme and UN agencies and programmes will continue to identify and ship approved and funded priority items in a pipeline of humanitarian goods and supplies valued at some $10 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