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New procedures to speed aid deliveries to Iraq fully in place, UN official reports

New procedures to speed aid deliveries to Iraq fully in place, UN official reports

The United Nations has fully implemented new procedures to speed the delivery of humanitarian aid to Iraq, according to the head of the office running the oil-for-food programme, which allows Baghdad to use a portion of its petroleum revenues to purchase relief supplies.

In a letter to the Security Council, the Executive Director of the Iraq Programme, Benon Sevan, said all necessary arrangements had been made to implement the revised procedures, which went into full effect yesterday.

As a result, States can more quickly process contracts on all goods that are not directly subject to the sanctions in place since Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait, and are not referenced on a Goods Review List. Applications go first to the Office headed by Mr. Sevan, which then forwards them to experts from the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to determine whether the contract in question contains any item covered by the sanctions or included on the List.

All applications containing any military goods will be rejected, while experts will pay particular attention to so-called “dual-use” items, namely those that might have both civilian and military applications.

Meanwhile, the Office of the Iraq Programme today released statistics on Iraq’s oil exports over the last week, showing that Baghdad sold 5.1 million barrels, earning an estimated €122 million (euros) or $120 million.

Owing to a budget shortfall, over 1,000 humanitarian supply contracts, worth about $2 billion, although approved by the UN, are currently lacking in funds and cannot be further processed. The Office said the deficit affects, to some degree, almost all sectors of the oil-for-food programme.