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Re: House of Commons debates last night

Dear all:

I am new to this list and very happy to be a part of it. 
Here is a contribution.

Rania and Seb want to know if the calorie reduction figures 
cited by Lloyd in the HoC are true. They are (see details 
from UN Secy Gen Report cited below. However, Lloyd's claim 
that the reduction is due to Iraqi obstruction is not borne 
about by the UN's own report. The UN claims Iraqi full 
cooperation, and attributes the problems to shortage of 

Best wishes and keep up the good work. When I have a full 
draft of my paper available, I will let the list know.

Eric Herring

Here is a summary of relevant passages from a paper I am 

In February 1998 under resolution 1153, the Security Council
agreed to the expansion of the programme from US$2 billion 
in oil sales every 180 days to US$5.2 billion. [how were the
figures arrived at?] The UN and Iraq agreed a revised 
Distribution Plan under resolution 1210 of 24 November 1998 
to try to improve delivery of food, medicines, medical 
equipment, water and sanitiation equipment, electricity 
equipment and oil spare parts. 

US President Bill Clinton's claim that the oil for food 
programme 'generates more than $10 billion a year for food, 
medicine and other critical humanitarian supplies for the 
Iraqi people'2 is patently untrue. Officially, only $6.8 
billion of the $10.2 billion is for humanitarian aid. 
Furthermore, the combination of the near 50% fall in oil 
prices between December 1996 and November 1998 and the 
debilitation of Iraq's oil industry due to UN bombing and 
sanctions has meant that Iraq has not been able to generate 
anything like all of the revenue permitted. In June 1998 
under resolution 1175 the UN authorised Iraq to import 
US$300 million worth of spare parts to enable its oil 
industry to produce the amount oil necessary to generate 
the revenue permitted under the UN programme. The funds for 
this are deducted proportionately from the two humanitarian 
aid accounts (ESB and ESC). Approval of oil industry spare 
parts requires an amendment to the humanitarian aid 
distribution plan 'or other clarifications', making this 
what the UN calls 'a major source of delay in processing'.3 
Oil industry spare parts are not due to even begin to 
arrive before the end of January 1999, and the value of 
spare parts permitted is not expected to meet anything more 
than the most urgent needs.4 In the period from the start 
of the programme on 10 December 1996 through to 31 October 
1998 - just under two years - the total amount of revenue 
from oil sales was $8.339 billion, while the amount 
allocated for humanitarian supplies was $5,222 billion.5 
Overall, Clinton's figure for humanitarian aid is roughly 
four times the real figure.     In the centre and south of 
the country where the programme is adminstered directly by 
the Iraqi government and monitored by the UN, the situation 
is not improving greatly. Only as of September 1998 through 
November 1998 has the programme successfully delivered food 
baskets in the centre and south of the country of a mere 
2,030 kilocalories per day, and even then World Food 
Programme (WFP) observers indicated that almost two thirds 
of households surveyed claimed that the rations last at 
most 20 days. The poor performance of the programme is due 
to shortage of funds.6 The UN's assessment is that 986 has 
not reversed the malnutirtion in Iraq but merely stabilised 
'previously rising levels'. The levels of general 
malnutrition (measured in terms of weight for age) are 
14.7% of infants and 25% of children under five.7 Although 
the supply of medical drugs has increased has increased, 
the UN believes that these will have 'little overall impact 
on public health services without better facilities and 
statt motivation.8 Although some water treatment plants 
have been improved, the UN reports that there are not 
enough funds to 'significantly reverse the present 
deterioration' in access to clean water.9 The same 
assessment is made of agricultural production, electricity 
production and primary school enrolment - at most modest 
short-term improvements combined with  overall 
deterioration of capabilities due principally to lack of 
funds and secondarily to a slow rate of approval and 
contracting.10  The picture is roughly same or somewhat 
better in the Dahuk, Erbil and Sulaymaniyah governates of 
Iraq under joint UN and local authority administration, 
although there is some variation.11 These areas appears to 
be doing worse at delivering food baskets on time, 
similarly at electricity production but better at reducing 
general malnutrition among children under five (from 25.8% 
in December 1994 to 15.1% in April 1998), at delivering 
medicines, at improving agricultural production, and at 
primary school enrolment.

The data above are drawn from UN Office of the Iraq 
Programme, Oil For Food, Basic Facts November 1998; Report 
of the Secretary-General Pursuant to Praragraph Council 10 
of Security Council Resolution 1153 (1998) S/1998/1100 19 
November 1998 Secretary-General Approves New Distribution 
Plan 11 December 1998. Available online at 
<> and 
<> respectively.

On Tue, 26 Jan 1999 15:28:53 +0000 (GMT) Rania Masri 
<> wrote:

> On Tue, 26 Jan 1999, Seb Wills wrote:
> [...]
> > Mr Lloyd also said "Let us look at the way in which Iraq tries to
> > prioritise spending of oil for food money. The Iraqi distribution plan for
> > the present six-month phase in the programme allocates less food than it
> > did when the programme was worth only $2 billion; it is now worth some
> > $5.3 billion. It reduces the daily food ration from 2,200 calories to
> > 2,050, and reduces spending on medicine." 
> > [anyone know if his facts are correct and the reasons?]
> Thank you Seb, for this information.
> A few points on the OIl-for-Food deal:
> (1) Iraq is not able to produce more than approximately $3 billion worth
> of oil due to the lack of spare parts necessary for rebuilding the
> oil-industy-infrastructure, and due to the drop in oil prices. (source:
> january AP report, see
> (2) As for the alleged-decrease in the daily food ration, I'm not sure at
> all if that is true. This is the first that I've heard of it. However, if
> it is true, then perhaps the difference is accounted for in the
> importation of certain spare parts for infrastructure-rebuilding. The
> updated Oil-for-Food program allegedly allows the importation of certain
> spare parts.
> - Rania Masri
> --
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Dr. Eric Herring
Department of Politics
University of Bristol
10 Priory Road
Bristol BS8 1TU
England, UK
Tel. +44-(0)117-928-8582
Fax +44-(0)117-9732133

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