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22 August 2003


Weekly Update


Value of Goods and Supplies Prioritized

for Iraq Approaches $4.5 billion


With some 13 weeks to the closure of the United Nations Iraq Programme (21 November), almost half the goods and supplies in the Oil-for-Food pipeline have been prioritized for delivery, as required under Security Council resolution 1483 (22 May).


Consultations between the Coalition Provisional Authority, Iraqi experts and the United Nations, have so far resulted in the prioritization of 2,422 contracts valued at more than $4.45 billion. UN agencies and programmes are negotiating with suppliers to expedite delivery to locations where they are most needed. The cost of the contracted items from suppliers in dozens of countries are covered by funds from the sale of Iraqi oil under the Oil-for-Food Programme prior to the onset of hostilities in late March. At that time, the Oil-for-Food Programme had some 5,000 contracts worth about $10 billion for food and other items approved and funded, awaiting delivery.


The value of food items prioritized for delivery under resolution 1483 totals $606.7 million. These items, ranging from wheat to milk powder and cooking oil are included in the monthly rations which most families rely on. Other sectors covered by prioritizations so far include: oil industry spare parts and supplies ($1 billion); electricity ($844.5 million); agriculture ($530.4 million); water and sanitation ($481.4 million); medicine and health ($271.2 million); transport and telecommunications ($212.1 million).


Chickens and eggs


The Security Council 661 Committee this week approved a $31 million project for the purchase of poultry feed and hatching eggs to boost Iraq’s domestic poultry production in the second half of 2003. Under the Oil-for-Food Programme, the national poultry industry trebled in size from 1,112 to 3,368 commercial operations, increasing white meat production between 1998 and 2002 from 19,300 metric tonnes to 110,200 metric tonnes. Over the same period, egg production increased from 473 to 902 million units. Seventy per cent of the commercial farms operated in the central governorates, but war brought their production to a standstill.


The project aims to lift the production of broiler chickens to 55 per cent of the pre-war level and restore egg production to 28 per cent of pre-conflict levels. The project will be administered by FAO with the active involvement of local Iraqi institutions and authorities. It will be funded from the Oil-for-Food escrow account.


Transport and telecommunications


In the past week, an additional 27 contracts totaling about $20 million have been prioritized in the telecommunications sector. Among the items are microwave radio equipment, cables, excavators and mobile workshops. Also on the priority list are 50 transportation contracts valued at some $146 million. They include railway equipment, various types of wagons and spare parts, diesel locomotives and spare parts, and a variety of vehicles including buses, water tankers and tug boats, and associated spare parts.   

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