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Oil-for-Food Programme
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 situation nationwide.

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.


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