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Dear Drew and All, On the second and third points, it is perfectly true that the Iraqi government formally stopped accepting humanitarian aid last June, and that it has not ordered the quantities of high protein biscuits for pregnant and lactating mothers permitted by the UN. 2) AID There are some interesting details about the ban on humanitarian aid that I think deserve to be understood. They are not offered as justifications for Baghdad's policy, but as important pieces of context. On a visit to Iraq last August, not long after the ban on humanitarian aid was instituted, I was surprised to find that virtually every NGO working in government-controlled Iraq was still operating, and in some cases expanding their operations (Mennonite Central Committee, Middle East Council of Churches, etc.). At the Office of the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Baghdad, I was presented with a bundle of documents on oil-for-food. One of the 986 Updates was entitled 'Special flights carrying humanitarian supplies (and approved by the 661 [Sanctions] Committee' (u-humfly.Rev11, 7 June 1998). This listed 21 special flights between 31 Jan and 5 June 1998, one of which was from the USA (34.8 tons of medicines and nutrition supplements, 28 April, two planes). It was suggested while I was in Iraq that Baghdad had been worried by the appearance generated by the flights (and the high media profile they attracted), that the humanitarian situation was being solved, when in fact these consignments were a mere drop in the ocean. The favourable publicity given to the US airlift may have been particularly worrying from this point of view. While most flights carried several tons of supplies, some did not. A flight from Russia on 8 May 1998 carried 20 kilograms of medicines, according to the UN Update. (This is substantially less than was taken in the February 1998 Voices delegation that I took part in.) The last flight listed took place on 5 June 1998 and carried a delegation of 113, a crew of 14, and NO CARGO. The ban on humanitarian donations from foreign countries was imposed the following day. Last August, I was under the impression that the humanitarian aid ban was in effect mainly against the big humanitarian flights. This may have been a misperception, and/or there may have been a change in policy since then. 3) HIGH PROTEIN BISCUITS The 18 May 1999 Secretary-General's report notes (para. 37) that as at 31 March 1999 the Iraqi Ministry of Health had signed 'four contracts for therapeutic milk and three contracts for high protein biscuits.' 'The first contract valued at $1,692,100 for the procurement of high protein biscuits was received by the Security Council Committee on 3 March 1999 and approved on 9 March, but the supply has not yet arrived in the country.' Phase IV and Phase V (just ended) both allocated $8 million for high protein biscuits, giving a theoretical total of $16m which could have been ordered by now, rather than just $1.7m. (The $16m figure may have been affected by oil revenue shortfalls which have seen allocations being transferred from Phase IV to Phase V, though the Secretary-General's report gives no indication of this effect.) So far as I know, no explanation has yet been offered for the Iraqi government's delay in ordering this crucial targeted nutritional supplement. Milan Rai -----Original Message----- From: Hamre, Drew <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: 'Iraq-CASI - Discussion' <email@example.com> Date: 21 May 1999 16:12 Subject: The Years 1991-1995, the Refusal of Arab Aid, and Delays Ordering Protein Biscuits >> Does anyone have information which rebuts the following arguments for >> Saddam's complicity in the humanitarian disaster: >> (1) Saddam refused oil-for-food for five years >> (2) Saddam has recently refused Arab aid >> (3) Iraqi administrators have consistently delayed ordering protein >> biscuits permitted under oil-for-food >> >> Believe the issue with (1) had to do with Iraqi sovereignty and the >> relatively small amounts being tendered. (A collection of communications >> between the UN and Iraq for the period 1990-1996 is available as a UN >> 'Blue Book'; perhaps this would be helpful?) >> >> Apparently, (2) stems chiefly from a Barbara Crossette article in the >> NYTimes, which contained the assertion but few details. >> >> In the overall scheme of things, (3) is a relatively minor issue. >> However, it remains a sore point among OIP administrators and receives >> coverage as a result. >> >> Any information would be sincerely appreciated. >> >> Regards, >> Drew Hamre >Minneapolis, MN USA > > >-- >--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -- >This is a discussion list run by Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. >To be removed/added, email firstname.lastname@example.org, NOT the >whole list. Archived at http://linux.clare.cam.ac.uk/~saw27/casi/discuss.html > -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To be removed/added, email email@example.com, NOT the whole list. Archived at http://linux.clare.cam.ac.uk/~saw27/casi/discuss.html