Background Brief - Transport and Food Handling
The Oil-for-Food Programme was established in April 1995 as a temporary
measure to ease the unintended consequences of United Nations sanctions on
Iraq's civilian population. The first Iraqi oil sold under the programme to pay
for humanitarian supplies, was exported in December 1996 and the first shipments
of food arrived in March 1997. As of 20 March 2003, the Oil-for-Food Programme
covered 24 sectors of need and had prevented the further degradation of public
services and infrastructure, making a significant difference in the humanitarian
There were major gains in the area of transport and food handling for the 15 central and southern governorates under the Oil-for-Food
As of 20 March 2003, improvements to the port of Umm Qasr had enabled ships to discharge their cargo at a faster rate and at lower cost, to the benefit of all sectors. Traffic through the port of Umm
Qasr grew by 16 per cent between 2000 and 2001. The rehabilitation and expansion of railways increased the volume of rail freight by 30 per cent over the same period.
Private and public transportation was improved and intra-city public passenger services in Baghdad, Mosul, Hilla, Kirkuk, and Basrah
were rehabilitated. More efficient and affordable public passenger services to urban and suburban communities
meant that medical and social services were more accessible.