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Please write and complain. Beyond infuriating. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3226016.stm email@example.com Iraq oil-for-food scheme ending By Peter Greste BBC correspondent in Baghdad The United Nations is to formally end the biggest aid scheme of its history, the oil-for-food programme which helped keep an estimated six out of 10 Iraqis alive during the last years of Saddam Hussein's regime. A guide to living conditions and the reconstruction effort in Iraq In detail The UN's mandate officially ends at midnight although Iraq's Coalition Provisional Authority will take over most of the programme to prevent a collapse in aid. The programme was, quite simply, the most ambitious experiment in aid ever undertaken by the United Nations. It became a test of the organisation's capacity to shield ordinary people from the potentially catastrophic impact of sanctions aimed at a political elite. Schools and hospitals The UN imposed its sanctions on the Baghdad Government seven years ago to force Iraq to prove that it had no weapons of mass destruction. It supervised the sale of Iraqi oil and used the funds to help keep Iraqi civilians alive. It was an enormous undertaking. In all, some $65bn passed through its accounts, spent not just on food and medicine, but in the Kurdish north of the country the UN became virtually a de facto government, running things like schools, hospitals and communications. Now that is all about to end. The UN's mandate expires at midnight on Friday. Winding down The spending will not suddenly stop though. The American-led coalition has renegotiated almost all of the contracts and re-employed most of the local staff. Ordinary Iraqis probably will not immediately notice the difference though. There is just more than $4bn still left in the bank and the new trade ministry will gradually wind down the programmes over the next seven months. The coalition official co-ordinating the handover, ambassador Stephen Mann, said whatever happens after that will be up to the new Iraqi Government to decide. _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk