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Iraq: Annan approves new distribution plan for UN ‘oil-for-food’ programme

Iraq: Annan approves new distribution plan for UN ‘oil-for-food’ programme

Secretary-General Kofi Annan has approved the latest distribution plan governing the United Nations “oil-for-food” programme for Iraq, which allows Baghdad to use a portion of its petroleum revenues to purchase humanitarian relief aid.

The distribution plan covers the oil-for-food programme’s current eleventh phase, which runs through 29 May. It is based on a foreseen budget of more than $4.4 billion, spread over 13 sectors countrywide, including an allocation of $600 million for oil industry spare parts and equipment, and $310 million to meet the needs of especially vulnerable groups.

More than $1.27 billion is earmarked for food supplies, while an additional $10 million is set aside for a supplemental nutrition support programme for pregnant and lactating mothers in Iraq, where approximately 50,000 babies are born each month.

Other allocations include $178 million for medical services and supplies, $293.5 million for minimum requirements in the electricity sector, and $474 million to help meet Iraq’s “urgent needs” in the area of agriculture. Responding to severe damage to schools and the acute shortage of learning materials in Iraq, the plan provides $188.14 million in the education sector.