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Letter on UN holds- FT-21 August 2000
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This letter was published in today's Financial Times. 

Chris Doyle

Financial Times
21 August 2000

UN 'hold' on contracts worth $1.7bn threaten aid to Iraqis

One has to wonder why no major British broadsheet covered the comments of
Benon Sevan, the director of Office of the Iraq Programme just before he
left Iraq last week. He criticised the UN Security Council for the
"excessive" number of holds on purchasing contracts for the humanitarian
programme.  According to Mr Sevan, the value of the contracts on hold is a
staggering $1.7 bn. Theses holds are preventing the smooth running of the
operation. As Mr Sevan stated:  "You can't distribute supplies if you don't
have trucks."  

Moreover, the lifeline of the Iraqi economy, the oil industry, is seriously
under threat because 21 per cent of the applications on hold are related to
oil supplies. 

This senior UN official has been praised even by the US and the UK.  So will
they now listen to him, and take the minimal steps necessary to help the
people of Iraq?

Chris Doyle

Chris Doyle
Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding
21 Collingham Road
London SW5 0NU
Tel: 020 7373 8414
Fax: 020 7835 2088
Mobile 07968 040 281 
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