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Benon Sevan's letter & latest holds data

Since it's been a quiet day (so far) on this list, I thought I'd give you
all the chance to read the worrying letter from Benon Sevan, Executive
Director of the UN Office of the Iraq Programme, of 7 January, that has
been commented on a couple of times by list members.

The full text, plus the latest data on the status of contracts is at:

(Apologies in advance for the poor scanning quality, and for the size of
the file - 400KB. I hope it's all legible).

The data show that approximately 30% of electricity and water /
sanitation contracts (by value) have been placed on hold by the sanctions
committee, and just under 25% of education and communication / transportation
contracts too.

Quotes in addition to those already circulated:
"The absolute level of holds has been continuously rising during the past
year, with a temporary drop in May 2001 following a campaign by this
Office, and a small decrease in September 2001, largely due to the release
of several high-value applications."
"I truly regret that the situation regarding holds, which has affected
adversely the effiency and effectiveness of the programme, has not
improved despite our strenuous efforts and the special meetings of the
Committee experts to reverse the trend in the individual sectors ... I
should like to appeal to all members of the Committee to exert greater and
more determined efforts in addressing the increasingly high volume of
holds placed on applications, now approaching $5 billion."


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