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1) Rising trend in medical goods 'stockpiles' - nearly 29 per cent in 6 months 2) How the calculations were done 3) Improvements expected 4) Background comment (including excerpt from S-G Feb 99 report) Dear all I started writing a summary of the latest Secretary General's report, but it got out of hand. Will try again. Meanwhile, I spent hours figuring out that the amounts of medical goods in warehouses _continues_ to rise, albeit slowly. Very unfortunate for folk in Iraq, no doubt will be used by their enemies in Washington and London. Cheers Mil Voices in the Wilderness UK 16B Cherwell St Oxford OX4 1BG 01865 243 232 firstname.lastname@example.org 1) Rising trend in medical goods 'stockpiled' in Iraqi warehouses My calculations, based on the last three reports, suggest that there was a decided jump in the size of the problem at the end of last year (26 per cent), and then a slight rise in the first quarter of this year (2 per cent). Nearly 29 per cent rise in six months. Making some assumptions, the value of medicines, medical supplies and medical equipment piling up 'unnecessarily' in central government warehouses seems to have gone from $148.9m on 31 October 1999, to $187.6m on 31 January 2000, to $191.54 on 30 April 2000. Note: there have been inconsistencies in the way that the UN figures deal with the main three categories (of medicines, medical supplies, and medical equipment) and with the important category of 'items that have failed quality testing', but which remain in warehouses - as at 31 October 1999, this last category accounted for $11.2m (5.6 per cent) of the value of goods in central warehouses (S-G report, 12 November 1999). I have tried to take account of these inconsistencies, but direct, consistent, information from the OIP would be useful. 2) How the calculations were made At 31 October 1999, $187.8m worth of medical goods were in warehouses. (S-G, 12 November 1999 report) If we presume that the proportions of stock undergoing quality testing and being held as buffer stock were the same as in November 1999 (3.9 and 16.8 per cent respectively), this means that the value of goods being held 'unnecessarily' was roughly $148.9m. We know that betweeen November 1999 and April 2000, the percentage of items undergoing quality control increased from 3.9 to 9.2 per cent, 'because of arrivals in March and April 2000' (para. 45, 1 June 2000 report). This indicates that the proportion of medical supplies undergoing quality control as at 31 January 2000 (the next reporting date) was much lower than in April 2000. According to the 10 March S-G report, as at 31 January 2000, health commodities worth $236m were in central warehouses. ($803m arrived minus $567m distributed, para. 140.) If we assume that $11.8m (5 per cent) worth of goods were in quality control, and buffer stocks were around $36.6m (15.5 per cent; mid-way between the November 1999 and April 2000 figures), this would mean that the value of 'unnecessarily undistributed' medical goods in warehouses was $187.6m on 31 January 2000. The 1 June 2000 report indicates that the 'stock balance' in central warehouses of 'medical supplies' - which appears to include medicines and medical equipment - was $251.7 million on 30 April 2000. 14.7 per cent of this constituted legitimate 'buffer stock', and 9.2 per cent were items undergoing quality control (para. 45). This would indicate that $191.54m worth of medical supplies were piling up in central government warehouses 'unnecessarily'. 3) Improvements expected The 1 June 2000 report says, 'The World Health Organization reported that some distribution bottlenecks have been resolved'. 'The arrival of 62 cold chain trucks and 35 prefabricated cold stores should improve both the storage capacity at central and governorate warehouses, and the distribution of supplies. The recent arrival of forklifts has slightly eased handling constraints at warehouses.' 'However, telecommunication difficulties continued between central and governorate warehouses, and between warehouses and health facilities. Furthermore, low-capacity computers at central warehouses are insufficient to handle the volume of data, which also hampers observation. Contracts for central warehouse computers remain on hold, awaiting the provision by the Government of Iraq of additional information requested by the [Sanctions] Committee.' (para. 46) 4) Background comment No evidence has ever been produced that the build-up of stocks of medical goods in central warehouses is the result of deliberate, malign, obstruction by the Iraqi Government. The Secretary General has reported, repeatedly, that there are logistical, motivational and other problems with the distribution process, most of them the result of the conditions imposed by the economic sanctions. Secretary General's report, February 1999: 'The delays in distributing medical supplies, resulting in accumulations in warehouses, are due in part to _the lack of modern managerial tools, poor working conditions within the warehouses and the lack of transport for moving the supplies to health centres._ They are also due, in part, to the rigid hierarchy in the Ministry of Health administration which makes it difficult for functionaries to approve deliveries without approval of superiors, and this takes time.' (para. 31, emphasis added) -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://welcome.to/casi