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Iraq sanctions committee designates electricity-related items for quick approval

Iraq sanctions committee designates electricity-related items for quick approval

The Security Council committee monitoring the sanctions against Baghdad has established the first list of electricity-related supplies that qualify for "fast-track" approval - an accelerated process for getting humanitarian goods to Iraq, the United Nations announced today.

According to the UN Office of the Iraq Programme, the panel, which is known as the "661 committee" for the resolution which established it, approved a list of 100 items in the electricity sector for quick processing. Under the fast-track system, the designated items can be approved directly by the Office without first going through the 661 committee.

A total of eight sectors are now covered by fast-track procedures -- electricity, food, health, education, agriculture, water and sanitation, housing, and oil industry parts and equipment. Since the adoption of the first lists of designated items in March 2000, the Office has processed 2,314 contracts worth over $4.76 billion under the fast-track system.

Meanwhile, over the past week, Iraq exported 15.6 million barrels of oil, earning an estimated €433 million (euros) at current prices, the Office reported today. Under the "oil-for-food" programme, Baghdad is authorized to spend approximately 72 per cent of its oil revenues on the humanitarian programme, while 25 per cent is allocated to the Compensation Fund which pays out damages arising from Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. The remainder is used to cover administrative costs.