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UN: Iraq Not Buying Food Under Plan

According to the UN "Iraq" has not been "implementing purchases"
permitted under the oil-for-food deal (extract from AP article below).
What's worrying is the proliferation of the suggestion that "Iraq is
deliberately inflating its humanitarian problems" as a result of this

Does anyone know anything about the "food" element of "oil-for-food",
and what may be the role of the Iraqi government (or any other
government, for that matter) in this situation?


UN: Iraq Not Buying Food Under Plan 

                  Wednesday, January 13, 1999; 9:22 p.m. EST

                  UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- Though the United Nations is
allowing Iraq
                  to sell some oil to buy needed food, the world body
said Wednesday that
                  it hadn't received any recent contracts to get the
food to Iraqis. 

                  Western diplomats fear Iraq may be delaying signing
such humanitarian aid
                  contracts at a time when it is trying to increase
pressure to have the U.N.
                  oil embargo lifted. 

                  Under the U.N. oil-for-food program, Baghdad is
allowed to bypass a
                  ban on its oil sales and sell a limited amount to buy
humanitarian aid. 

                  U.N. spokesman John Mills said Wednesday that Iraq was
authorized to
                  buy $8 million in high-protein biscuits in the last
half of 1998 but hasn't
                  acted. He also said the world body has only received
one contract to
                  provide special therapeutic milk for severely
malnourished children. 

                  State Department spokesman James P. Rubin on Wednesday
pointed to
                  the delays in ordering food by Iraq in describing what
he called the Iraqi

                  ``While complaining that the Iraqi people are
suffering, Iraq has failed to
                  order and distribute food and medicine that would
alleviate problems in
                  this area,'' Rubin said. 

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