Iraq: Annan approves distribution plan for oil-for-food programme's latest phase

Iraq: Annan approves distribution plan for oil-for-food programme's latest phase

Secretary-General Kofi Annan has approved the distribution plan for the latest phase of the United Nations oil-for-food programme for Iraq, which permits Baghdad to use a portion of its petroleum revenues to buy humanitarian supplies.

The plan, as submitted by the Government of Iraq, is based on a foreseen budget of over $5.08 billion for the purchase of humanitarian supplies and equipment in 25 sectors, 10 of which are new, according to the UN Office of the Iraq Programme (OIP), which overseas the effort.

As for Iraqi oil exports last week, the OIP said volume remained sluggish. A total of 3.1 million barrels of oil were loaded, netting an estimated $67 million in revenue.

In response to a question at a press briefing in New York, a UN spokesman said that as long as the volume of oil sales remained low, there was less money going into the humanitarian efforts and that the programme would be hurt when the oil revenue was below target.