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Re: House of Lords exchange

> The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth
> Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): 
> Let us consider that the latest distribution plan put forward by Iraq on
> the oil-for-food issue includes an allocation of 25 million dollars' worth
> to a machine that will count banknotes and 100 million dollars' worth for
> the purchase of telecommunications. That does not strike me as a regime
> that is interested in the suffering of its own people.

Whoops, Mrs Jay. I enclose the latest Distribution Plan on these two
items. As apparent from below, the use of this money is  will be monitored
by UN observers to make sure it is helping with the distribution of food
supplies. For a government which claims that food isn't getting where it
should be, you'd think they'd be happy? As it's $25million for the entire
banking sector: maybe Mrs Jay's conception of what banks do is rather

65. The present state of telecommunication systems throughout Iraq is
extremely poor. Apart from the wider social considerations, there are
negative consequences for the efficient procurement and distribution of
humanitarian supplies. The difficulty experienced by the Ministries
involved in implementing the MOU when communicating with their suppliers
has contributed to delays in ensuring timely submission of applications
and subsequently in the delivery of supplies to Iraq. In the health
sector, poor communications between warehouses and hospitals have
contributed to delays in the collection of supplies by health facilities.
The absence of adequate data links have also hindered the timely passing
on of accurate information on requirements. In regard to the electricity
sector, this has affected the coordination of operation between the
source, the transmission stations and substations. In order to ensure a
more effective implementation of the distribution plan and enhance
utilisation of commodities imported, communications equipment is required.
The first priority is Kimadiašs distribution system.
66. A provisional allocation of up to US$ 126 million, including
US$ 25 million for banking requirements, is envisaged for this purpose.
Out of this total US$18.7 million will be allocated for the three northern
governorates. The annex gives one option for the establishment of a net
work which would be available to all Ministries and facilities involved in
procurement and distribution of goods supplied through the MOU. A range of
technical options is still under consideration to ensure that the
resources allocated to communications improvements in all relevant
sectors, will provide the most effective logistic support.
66-1.Rehabilitation of existing Telecommunication infrastructure services
are needed at this stage. The rate of unsuccessful telephone calls is
extremely high at present due to the severe congestion in the telephone
exchanges and the transmission systems. This due mainly to the large
number of unrepaired exchanges and microwave radio stations due to lack of
spare parts.  The requirements presented here in the field of
telecommunications has the following objectives:
66-2. Providing the necessary spare parts and other hardware needed to
repair and maintain certain existing telecommunication systems.
66-3. replacement of damaged equipment in order to restore services to the
areas that have severely limited telecommunication services .
66-4. A mobile and wireless telephone systems has been also included in
the requirements for two main reasons. The first is to fulfill the urgent
needs of the health and other humanitarian services, and the second is to
act as a stop gap measure in some areas that have a very poor and severely
damaged paper insulated copper subscriber networks or no networks at all.
67. The plan allocates US$ 126 million to meet the necessary urgent needs
and requirements. Out of this total, US$ 18.7 million is allocated for
three northern governorates. Annex-1, 2/communications shows this.
68. In accordance with paragraph 41 of the MOU, the Government of
Iraq shall provide the Programme with detailed information about the
delivery of supplies and equipment to their locations in order to
facilitate the monitoring of their use and to make sure of this. The
Programme will conduct the tasks provided for in paragraph 8 of annex-1 of
the MOU.

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