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Northern Governorates

In the three northern governorates of Erbil, Dahuk and Sulaymaniyah, nine United Nations agencies implemented the Oil-for-Food Programme on behalf of the Government of Iraq from December 1996 through 20 March 2003. The Government did however procure foodstuffs and basic medical supplies in bulk for the entire country. Distribution of bulk food in the north was handled by the World Food Programme (WFP) and medical supplies by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Activities undertaken by the United Nations inter-agency humanitarian programme in the north ranged across 24 sectors of need from the provision of food and shelter to demining, to the rehabilitation of water and sanitation facilities, electricity generation and telecommunications networks. The work of the UN agencies was coordinated through the United Nations Office of the Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq (UNOHCI).

The designated roles and activities of the nine UN agencies, funds and programmes are outlined in the chart below.

Roles and Responsibilities of United Nations Bodies
at Work in Northern Iraq

Sector UN Agency Activity
Health WHO (Lead agency) Rehabilitation/construction of health facilities; distribution of drugs and equipment; training, vaccination campaigns
UNICEF Rehabilitation/construction of health facilities; training
UN-Habitat Rehabilitation/construction of health facilities
Food WFP Handling/distribution of food basket
Nutrition UNICEF (Lead agency) Targeted nutrition programme; training
WFP Distribution of supplementary food rations; school feeding programme
Education UNESCO (Lead agency) Secondary and tertiary education: construction; rehabilitation of facilities; procurement/distribution of items; training
UNICEF Primary education: construction; rehabilitation of facilities; procurement/distribution of items; training
UN-Habitat Construction of primary and secondary education facilities
WHO University/specialised training: nursing, medical, paramedic
Agriculture FAO (Lead agency) Agricultural machinery; plant protection; crop production; animal health; irrigation
WFP Food security projects
Electricity UNDP Construction/rehabilitation of power generation facilities and transmission/distribution network
Water & sanitation UNICEF (Lead agency) Construction/rehabilitation of water treatment facilities and distribution network; training: semi urban/rural
WHO Water quality control; training
UNOPS Construction/rehabilitation of water treatment facilities and distribution network; training
Telecommunications ITU Construction/rehabilitation of telecommunications facilities and transmission/distribution network
Internally displaced persons/ Settlement rehabilitation UN-Habitat (Lead agency) Construction of integrated settlements (housing plus services)
UNOPS Distribution of relief items, emergency assistance
Mine Action UNOPS Demining, mine awareness, victim assistance
Northern Governorates
Central and Southern Governorates
 Humanitarian
 Programme


 Food
 Transport and
 Food Handling
 Agriculture
 Nutrition
 Health
 Education
 Water and Sanitation
 IDPs and Settlement
 Rehabilitation
 Housing
 Mine Action
 Telecommunications
 Electricity


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