The Government of Iraq has submitted a new plan for distributing humanitarian supplies purchased under the "oil-for-food" programme, which allows Baghdad to use a portion of its petroleum revenues to fund the relief effort.
The new plan covers the latest phase of the oil-for-food programme, which was originally set up by the Security Council in the mid-1990s and subsequently renewed, most recently until 30 November.
According to a United Nations spokesman, the distribution plan, which forecasts an estimated budget of $5.5 billion for the humanitarian programme, is currently being reviewed by Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
"Once it is approved, it will form the basis on which the Government of Iraq will contract supplies and equipment in the 15 central and southern governorates of Iraq, while the United Nations will do the same in the three northern governorates, on behalf of the Government of Iraq," spokesman Fred Eckhard told reporters in New York. "Food and medicines are purchased in bulk by the Government of Iraq for the entire country."