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Iraqi crude exports spike under UN ‘oil-for-food’ programme

Iraqi crude exports spike under UN ‘oil-for-food’ programme

Iraqi crude exports spiked to 9.8 million barrels over the past week – the highest volume over a seven-day period since the start, in late May, of the current phase of the United Nations oil-for-food programme, which allows Baghdad to use a portion of its petroleum revenues to purchase humanitarian relief.

With the price of Iraqi crude oil averaging approximately €24.30 (euros) or $24.50 per barrel, the week’s exports netted an estimated €238 million or $240 million in revenue, according to the Office of the Iraq Programme (OIP), which runs the oil-for-food scheme.

Despite the recent rise in exports, an accumulated shortfall has left nearly 1,000 approved humanitarian supply contracts, worth almost $2.1 billion, without funding.

A further 2,172 humanitarian supply contracts, valued at about $5.4 billion, are currently on hold in the Security Council sanctions committee. According to the OIP, contracts are generally put on hold because they lack technical specifications or because the goods in question have the potential to be used for purposes other than those stated.

In another development, the new UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, Ramiro Lopes da Silva of Portugal, arrived in the country on Friday, succeeding Tun Myat, who had served in the post since April 2000.