Background Brief - Telecommunications
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
Telecommunications infrastructure in the 15 central and southern governorates of Iraq
improved under the Oil-for-Food Programme, with better connections, the
replacement of some 96,000 old telephone lines and the installation of some
29,000 new lines.
In the three northern governorates, a contract application valued at $28 million
was under review in early 2003 as the United Nations proceeded with the renovation and construction of eight buildings in Erbil, and Dahuk to house telecommunications equipment.