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[casi] USAID Document Urls - Comments from UN Contacts

Further to Cathy Aitchison's "US awards deals for post-war Iraq", 11 March

CASI members will find the USAID document referred to in Neil King Jr.,
"U.S. Is Quietly Soliciting Bids For Rebuilding Postwar Iraq", Wall Street
Journal, 10 March 2003 at

Source: USAID, "Vision for Post-Conflict Iraq", 19 February 2003,

There was an additional item

Source: USAID, "Consultations on Iraq Contingency Planning", 24 February

In considering the documents, members may wish to recall

Source: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA),
"Integrated Humanitarian Contingency Plan for Iraq and Neighbouring
Countries", confidential draft, 7 January 2003, pg. 4,


the collapse of essential services in Iraq ... could lead to a humanitarian
emergency of proportions well beyond the capacity of UN agencies and other
aid organizations


Below are some general comments about USAID, culled from UN contacts engaged
with the Iraq issue on the humanitarian end.  I have requested general and
specific comments on the USAID documents and will forward those assessments
if/when I receive them.  As a preview, one contact described the USAID
vision as a "fantasy".

The UN contacts generally describe USAID as ignorant and incompetent, at
least when it comes to Iraq.  The contacts state that USAID personnel know
very little about Security Council economic sanctions on Iraq, and what the
economic sanctions-related consequences have had for the Iraqi economy and
civilian population.

USAID personnel have lauded the primary sanctions exemption, the "oil for
food program", as a full replacement of an Iraqi economy at least
functioning at a pre-Gulf War capacity.  The sanctions exemptions have
indeed somewhat reduced the economic damage and permitted the humanitarian
situation to improve.  But sanctions continue to significantly damage the
economy.  Resultantly, Iraqis still live daily with a humanitarian crisis.
Everyone at the UN with knowledge of living conditions in Iraq is aware of
this reality.  As expected, UN contingency planning documents thus detail
the extreme vulnerability of Iraqi civilians, especially children.

Contacts state that these same USAID personnel praise the "oil for food
program", despite displaying minimal knowledge about the program and 661
Committee mechanics, failing even to consult with US 661 Committee
representatives.  Moreover, The Secretary-General and Office of the Iraq
Program Executive Director have repeatedly stated that the "oil for food
program" is incapable of replacing the Iraqi economy.

Nathaniel Hurd
NGO Consultant on United Nations' Iraq policy
Tel. (Mobile): 917-407-3389
Fax: 718-504-4224
Residential/Mailing Address:
90 7th Ave.
Apt. #6
Brooklyn, NY  11217

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