2 June 1997
REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL PURSUANTTO PARAGRAPH 11 OF
RESOLUTION 986 (1995)
1. The present report is submitted to the Security Council pursuant to paragraph 11 of resolution
986 (1995), of 14 April 1995, in which the Council requested the Secretary-General to report to it
prior to the end of the 180-day period starting from the date of entry into force of paragraph 1 of
the resolution. It provides information on the distribution of humanitarian supplies throughout
Iraq pursuant to resolution 986 (1995), including the implementation of the United Nations
Inter-Agency Humanitarian Programme in the three northern governorates of Dahuk, Arbil and
Sulaymaniyah. Furthermore, the report notes the work of the Secretariat in processing
applications to the Security Council Committee established by resolution 661 (1990) of 6 August
1990, the activities of the oil overseers and the United Nations independent inspection agents
(Saybolt and Lloyd's Register) and the current status of the United Nations Iraq Account. In
addition, it includes my observations on the adequacy of oil revenues received under the
resolution in meeting Iraq's humanitarian needs and on Iraq's capacity to export sufficient
quantities of petroleum and petroleum products to generate $1 billion every 90 days.
2. Since my last report to the Council, of 10 March 1997 (S/1997/206), there has been notable
progress in the implementation of resolution 986 (1995). As at 30 May, total oil sales had
reached 119.5 million barrels. Receipts in the United Nations Iraq Account at the Banque
nationale de Paris had reached $1.7 billion. As at 30 May, 630 applications for exports of
humanitarian supplies to Iraq had been received by the secretariat of the Security Council
Committee. Of the 574 circulated to the Committee, 331 were approved, 191 placed on hold and
14 blocked, and 38 are pending under the "no-objection" procedure or awaiting clarification.
Food commodities began arriving in Iraq on 20 March and related United Nations observation
commenced immediately thereafter. By the end of May, 691,648 tons of food had reached Iraq.
Pharmaceuticals began arriving on 9 May.
3. The Steering Committee, chaired by the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, has
met periodically in order to ensure proper coordination and efficient use of staff and resources.
At the request of the Security Council Committee and in consultation with the Iraqi authorities,
the Department of Humanitarian Affairs has drawn up lists indicating the relative priority of
different applications for humanitarian supplies so as to facilitate the work of the Committee.
Similarly, the Department has facilitated the approval of applications submitted by United Nations
agencies. Senior Secretariat officials have briefed the Security Council Committee on a regular
basis on the implementation of resolution 986 (1995). In order to strengthen the administrative
and logistical support to the United Nations Office of the Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq, those
responsibilities have been entrusted to the Field Administration and Logistics Division.
4. The Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Mr. Yasushi Akashi, visited Iraq
between 3 and 9 May to assess the progress in the implementation of resolution 986 (1995)
throughout the country and on 22 May he briefed the Security Council on his findings. In
response to concerns raised by both the Government of Iraq and United Nations agencies about
delays in the arrival of humanitarian goods in Iraq and potential disruptions in food distribution,
Mr. Akashi explained the Secretariat's persistent efforts to improve the handling of applications.
In that connection, a number of proposals were also made by the Government of Iraq. At the
same time, Mr. Akashi noted the dedication and resourcefulness of the United Nations observers,
who had travelled extensively throughout all the governorates. In addition, other senior officials
of the Secretariat have recently visited Iraq to review implementation and discuss concerns arising
from implementation to date.
II. SALE OF PETROLEUM AND PETROLEUM PRODUCTS
5. The approval of oil contracts by the oil overseers has proceeded as planned. The overseers
have continued to advise the Security Council Committee on the pricing mechanisms for sales of
petroleum, contract modifications, management of the combined 180-day revenue objective of
$2.14 billion (including the pipeline fee) and other pertinent questions related to imports, under
resolution 986 (1995), of petroleum originating in Iraq.
6. The overseers have reviewed and approved a total of 51 contracts involving 35 different
purchasers. The total quantity of oil approved for export and lifted under those contracts
corresponds to approximately 121 million barrels for the 180 days. About 57 per cent of the 114
liftings have been made at Ceyhan in Turkey.
7. In the first 90 days, 51.6 million barrels were lifted, 0.7 million less than the total of all
approved term and spot contracts for that period. Three cargoes, totalling 2.5 million barrels,
were scheduled for the last week of the first 90 days but slipped into the second 90-day period
because of operational problems. The total revenue generated from the liftings was $1.034
billion. With the approval of the Committee, the shortfall of $37 million was carried forward to
the second 90 days.
8. For the second 90 days, 65 liftings, totalling 67.9 million barrels, at an estimated value of
$1.116 billion, have been completed. Three of the liftings are delayed loadings from the first 90
days. In May, market prices jumped to such a level that total revenue generated by delivering the
remaining contract volumes for the second 90-day period would be somewhat in excess of the
180-day objective of $2.14 billion (including the pipeline fee), if prevailing prices remained
unchanged. On 23 May, the Committee reached an understanding for dealing with possible
excess revenues over the 180-day objective of $2.14 billion that might result from uncertainties in
the oil market.
9. As required under paragraph 11 of resolution 986 (1995), I wish to report, based on the
assessment of the overseers and the independent inspection agents (Saybolt), that Iraq has the
capacity to export sufficient quantities of petroleum and petroleum products to meet the revenue
target of $1 billion every 90 days. I should add that the work of the above independent inspection
agents, who are responsible for monitoring the relevant oil installations in Iraq and at Ceyhan,
Turkey, has also been proceeding smoothly. They have enjoyed the full cooperation of Iraqi and
III. PURCHASE AND CONFIRMATION OF ARRIVAL OF HUMANITARIAN SUPPLIES
10. Some difficulties have arisen in the processing of applications by the Security Council
Committee owing to the complexity of the arrangements resulting from resolution 986 (1995), the
Memorandum of Understanding and the procedures adopted by the Security Council Committee.
In view of those difficulties, the Committee has adopted a number of measures intended to
facilitate a more expeditious processing of contracts. On my part, I have taken steps to reinforce
the Secretariat team responsible for processing applications and to streamline its internal working
procedures. As a result, the pace at which contracts are being processed by the Secretariat has
improved. However, other difficulties beyond the control of the Secretariat still remain. I am
hopeful that, in cooperation with the Committee, those difficulties can be effectively addressed.
11. As at 30 May, 630 applications for exports of humanitarian supplies to Iraq had been received
by the secretariat of the Security Council Committee. Of the 574 circulated to the Committee,
331 were approved, 191 placed on hold and 14 blocked, and 38 are pending under the
"no-objection" procedure or awaiting clarification. Some applications are screened and processed
according to priority lists approved by the Committee.
12. The 32 independent inspection agents provided by Lloyd's Register have been authenticating
the arrival in Iraq of humanitarian supplies at the agreed entry points. They have ensured that all
consignments received in Iraq under resolution 986 (1995) are in compliance with defined
requirements, possess a value in accordance with internationally accepted trade practice and are of
declared quality and quantity. They have received full cooperation from the Iraqi authorities. The
independent inspection agents report daily on their activities to the secretariat of the Security
Council Committee. The information provided by them is routinely shared with the Office of the
Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq. Throughout this second 90-day period, authentication of the
goods has been taking place at an increasing rate at all three entry points.
IV. UNITED NATIONS IRAQ ACCOUNT
13. As at 28 May 1997, the United Nations Treasury had processed letters of credit for
approximately $2.11 billion worth of petroleum. Proceeds amounting to a total of
$1,747,405,752.62 had been deposited into the United Nations Iraq Account at the Banque
nationale de Paris and letters of credit amounting to $465.9 million had been issued by the Banque
nationale de Paris on behalf of the United Nations for the payment of humanitarian supplies
destined for the whole of Iraq.
14. The distribution of the funds received in the United Nations Iraq Account and related
expenditures are as follows:
(a) $878.4 million has been allotted for the purchase of humanitarian supplies by the Government
of Iraq, as specified in paragraph 8 (a) of resolution 986 (1995). Expenditures recorded for
contracts for humanitarian supplies approved by the Security Council Committee amount to
(b) $215.4 million has been allotted for the purchase of humanitarian goods to be distributed in
the three northern governorates by the United Nations Inter-Agency Humanitarian Programme, as
specified in paragraph 8 (b) of the resolution. Expenditures recorded for humanitarian goods
contracts approved by the Security Council Committee amount to $49.4 million;(1)
(c) $497.2 million has been transferred directly to the United Nations Compensation Fund, as
specified in paragraph 8 (c) of the resolution. Of that amount, $151.3 million has been allotted for
the payment of the first instalment of "A" and "C" claims ($144.0 million) and for the operating
expenses of the Compensation Commission ($7.3 million);
(d) $36.5 million has been allotted for the operational and administrative expenses of the United
Nations associated with implementation of resolution 986 (1995), as specified in paragraph 8 (d)
of the resolution. Expenditures for administrative costs for all United Nations entities involved in
implementing the resolution amount to $20.3 million;
(e) $13.3 million has been transferred to the United Nations Special Commission for its operating
requirements, as specified in paragraph 8 (e) of the resolution; of that amount, $13.0 million has
been allotted for the operating expenses of the Special Commission;
(f) $90.0 million has been set aside to cover transportation costs for petroleum and petroleum
products originating in Iraq that are exported via the Kirkuk-Yumurtalik pipeline through Turkey,
as foreseen in paragraph 8 (f) of resolution 986 (1995) and in accordance with procedures
established by the Security Council Committee;
(g) $16.6 million has been transferred directly to the escrow account established pursuant to
resolutions 706 (1991) of 15 August 1991 and 712 (1991) of 19 September 1991 for the
payments envisaged under paragraph 6 of resolution 778 (1992) of 2 October 1992, as specified
in paragraph 8 (g) of resolution 986 (1995).
15. In accordance with paragraph 7 of resolution 986 (1995), the United Nations Iraq Account
will be audited by the Board of Auditors, which will prepare a report on the financial statements
covering the period from the establishment of the United Nations Iraq Account to 30 June 1997.
V. IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DISTRIBUTION PLAN
16. Prior to April 1997, the food ration provided by the Government of Iraq satisfied about 50 per
cent of daily caloric need and did not meet the full requirement for energy, protein and most
essential vitamins and minerals. Furthermore, economic difficulties prevented many Iraqi families
from fully complementing their food requirements through market purchases. Consequently, their
nutritional status had deteriorated significantly. In April 1997, the United Nations Children's Fund
(UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP) and Iraq's Nutrition Research Institute carried out
a nutritional survey of 15,000 children under five years of age in 87 primary health care centres in
the 15 central and southern governorates. Results showed that 25 per cent of the children were
malnourished, of whom 27 per cent were chronically malnourished and 9 per cent acutely
17. Food commodities enter Iraq from Trebil, on the border with Jordan, Habur/ Zakho, on the
border with Turkey, and at the port of Umm Qasr in southern Iraq. In Trebil and Umm Qasr,
government offices ("reception centres") are responsible for dispatching trucks using a
computerized system aligned to the Ministry of Trade's allocation plan, which shares goods
between governorates in proportion to their population. Commodities delivered to Habur/Zakho
are received at the Nineveh Exchange Centre for onward dispatch. Each centre produces a daily
distribution plan indicating the amounts dispatched to each governorate. This is made available to
United Nations observers. Wheat is sent either to governorate silos or, on occasion, directly to
mills for processing. Flour agents collect flour stocks at the mills. Other commodities are
collected in the warehouses by the retail agents.
18. In principle, under the government ration system, all Iraqi citizens, together with foreign
residents in Iraq, are entitled to a ration card. Beneficiaries should receive identical quantities of
rationable commodities, with the exception of children under one year, who are entitled to receive
infant formula, detergent and soap. A nominal fee of 105 Iraqi dinars is paid by each food
beneficiary towards transport and administrative costs. The registration system is continuously
updated in response to population change. In the central and southern governorates, there is a
heavy financial penalty for providing false information and not updating births, deaths and changes
of residence. The Ministry of Trade uses 45,693 food and flour retail agents from the private
sector to distribute commodities to beneficiaries. Families collect their monthly food basket with
ration coupons, which retail agents present to the local distribution centres to receive the
following month's stock. The food/flour agents are regularly checked for the accuracy of their
scales by government officials. The licence of a ration agent is revoked if 51 per cent of the
families served by him/her file complaints against him/her.
19. Food commodities began arriving in Iraq on 20 March 1997. By April, wheat (supplemented
by 40,000 tons of wheat from government stocks) was milled and made available in sufficient
quantities for the nationwide distribution of the flour ration. As at 28 May, a total of 691,648
tons of food, soap and detergent was expected to have arrived in Iraq, which was 29 per cent of
the total allocation for food and related items in the distribution plan. The arrival of other
commodities enabled distribution to take place in May for pulses, rice, cooking oil, detergent
powder, soap and infant formula for children under one year. Salt, sugar and tea were distributed
from stocks at existing levels as deliveries under resolution 986 (1995) had not been sufficient for
a monthly distribution.
20. The first delivery of medical supplies under resolution 986 (1995), a small quantity of
intravenous solution, arrived on 9 May. After standard quality control tests in Baghdad, the
supplies were distributed to hospitals in all governorates, according to the plan agreed upon by
the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO). Limited amounts of medical
equipment had arrived by 27 May, but none had been distributed as of that date.
21. In anticipation of the arrival of goods for other sectors, the relevant Iraqi authorities have
provided details of planned distribution. Thus the Food and Agriculture Organization of the
United Nations (FAO) has agreed on an allocation plan with the Ministry of Agriculture. The
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and UNICEF have
received an updated allocation plan from the Ministry of Education for supplies to 2,250 schools
in the central and southern region.
Implementation of the distribution plan by the United Nations in the three northern governorates
22. Under resolution 986 (1995), the United Nations Inter-Agency Humanitarian Programme has
the responsibility for distribution of humanitarian supplies on behalf of the Government of Iraq in
the three northern governorates. The assessment of the humanitarian needs in those governorates
was undertaken by the United Nations Programme in consultation with local authorities and
incorporated into the distribution plan. Committees have been established to maintain liaison with
the United Nations. In addition to well-established offices of the United Nations Office of the
Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq, WFP, UNICEF and FAO, the United Nations Development
Programme (UNDP), WHO, UNESCO and the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements
(Habitat) have recently opened new offices headed by international staff. In general, there has
been an acceptable level of security for United Nations operations, although there have been
occasions when brief inter-factional clashes have impeded the implementation of resolution 986
(1995). On 14 May, Turkish troops entered northern Iraq. United Nations personnel have
monitored the situation closely for its potential impact on their activities. While there have been
no major disruptions in deliveries, the United Nations is nevertheless concerned that, were
hostilities in the region to continue or escalate, it might become necessary for United Nations
agencies and local authorities to modify distribution procedures.
23. In order to make a better assessment of the nutritional needs of the population in the three
northern governorates, UNICEF undertook a multiple indicator cluster survey in August 1996.
The survey randomly sampled 2,175 households in all three governorates and revealed that 19.3
per cent of children under five years were malnourished, of whom 26 per cent were chronically
malnourished and 4 per cent acutely malnourished. Until the arrival of foodstuffs authorized
under resolution 986 (1995), there had been targeted food distribution to only some 25 per cent
of the population. In the absence of updated figures on population in the three northern
governorates and because of population displacement, WFP began a registration process in
August 1996, in collaboration with local food departments. As a result of the political conflict in
the region and the significant movements of population between governorates, the process was
complicated and labour-intensive. It involved the distribution of registration forms and
cross-checking and correction of discrepancies. A mechanism for processing complaints has been
established. Ration cards were printed and distributed to families through food agents in April.
Information on the list of beneficiaries is updated regularly through house-to-house surveys.
According to preliminary data, the total population in the three northern governorates as at 20
May was estimated at 3,081,833 (Dahuk 688,894, Erbil 1,064,368 and Sulaymaniyah 1,328,571).
This information has been used by all United Nations entities to update their sectoral
implementation plans. Although the registration in Dahuk and Sulaymaniyah was conducted
satisfactorily, WFP experienced some difficulties over the final stages of the population census in
Erbil but has been promised full cooperation in finalizing the census. With regard to the actual
distribution of commodities, WFP has experienced no difficulties.
24. The management of food distribution in the northern governorates of Erbil, Dahuk, and
Sulaymaniyah is under the direct control of WFP. It has assumed control of warehouses in Mawil
and Kirkuk, which have been renovated and made available free of charge by the Government of
Iraq. WFP has printed appropriate stock control documentation for these facilities and deployed
international staff to both locations. After competitive bidding, one transport company has been
selected from each of the three northern governorates to transport commodities from the
warehouses and the government mills in Mawil and Kirkuk to WFP warehouses in Dahuk, Erbil
and Sulaymaniyah. WFP obtained special permission to allow contracted vehicles to move freely
at checkpoints. WFP uses 10,442 independent food and flour agents to reach beneficiaries; these
agents charge an equivalent fee to that collected in central and southern Iraq.
25. As the principal agency in the health sector, WHO has submitted 99 applications amounting to
$4,207,082 from a total allocation of $6,700,000 for the purchase of medical, dental and
laboratory equipment. Its plans to improve the storage conditions of medicines include the
installation of an integrated computer software system compatible with the rest of the country.
WHO is also reinforcing the existing distribution system for pharmaceuticals.
26. In the agricultural sector, FAO has submitted two applications for insecticides, seeds,
irrigation and agricultural equipment totalling $19,538,438 from an allocation of $20,150,000.
UNICEF has completed a risk mapping exercise to finalize allocation plans in health, nutrition,
water, sanitation and education. Risk mapping has shown that less than 50 per cent of the
population have access to water and projects therefore include the rehabilitation of 150 pump
houses and 100 water projects. Local counterparts are being trained in the design of piped water
supply schemes and water surveying. To date, the 22 UNICEF applications submitted to the
Security Council Committee total $14,100,789 from an overall allocation of $20,200,000.
27. UNESCO is using risk mapping data to identify vulnerable areas and has surveyed 120
schools to pinpoint needs. Tendering and contracts for school rehabilitation worth $1,675,424
have been completed out of a total allocation of $5,150,000; warehousing and workshops for
school equipment have been secured. In the energy sector, UNDP has submitted 26 applications
valued at $8,665,519 out of a total allocation of $13,170,000 for the restoration of electricity in
the three northern governorates.
28. The presence of mines, mostly in Sulaymaniyah, is of serious concern and a budget of $2.5
million has been allocated for mine-related activities. The Department of Humanitarian Affairs
has entered into an arrangement with the United Nations Office of Project Services to implement
mine-related activities under resolution 986 (1995). This programme will assist in rendering
agricultural areas safe for cultivation and facilitating village resettlement. A plan of action has
been finalized and a list of required equipment prepared. The recruitment of five international
staff is under way. UNICEF will be responsible for implementing the mine-awareness component
of the programme and is currently preparing relevant material.
29. The number of internally displaced persons has continued to grow as a result of continued
factional clashes and the displacement of Kurds from Kirkuk by the Government of Iraq. Shelter
and resettlement activities in the northern governorates have started with the planning of
infrastructure and rehabilitation projects, particularly in support of internally displaced persons.
To date, the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements has received $3,140,000 out of a total
allocation of $12 million to procure materials and services for the rehabilitation and construction
of infrastructure and shelter in Erbil, Dahuk and Sulaymaniyah. Following his recent visit to
several camps for internally displaced persons in Sulaymaniyah, the Under-Secretary-General for
Humanitarian Affairs established an inter-agency task force to ensure that much-needed assistance
was provided in an integrated manner.
VI. ADMINISTRATIVE AND LOGISTICAL SUPPORT
30. Since my last report, much progress has been achieved in the logistical support of the mission.
The United Nations Office of the Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq is now based in two separate
buildings in Baghdad. Rotating teams of geographical observers operate from Basrah, Mawil and
Kirkuk. A central inventory of all equipment purchased in support of United Nations operations
is being maintained by the Office. The establishment of the United Nations country-wide
communications system is in its final stages. The satellite earth station in Erbil became
operational on 27 April, enabling effective communication with Baghdad. A new telephone
exchange has been installed at the United Nations Office. The Government of Iraq has given
approval for the installation of the United Nations VHF network in the centre and south. This
will allow observers to communicate with United Nations headquarters, which is critical for their
security and ability to report in a timely manner. The Central Bank of Iraq has approved the use
of the prevailing market rate of exchange for the conversion of United States dollars to Iraqi
dinars. In addition, the recent receipt of some 45 new vehicles, as well as additional computers
and printers, will greatly improve the current situation for all implementing agencies.
VII. OBSERVATION MECHANISM AND ACTIVITIES
31. As at 30 May, a total of 132 out of 151 international observers were deployed in central and
southern Iraq: 61 geographical observers, 14 multidisciplinary observers and 57 sectoral
observers (37 from WFP, 9 from WHO, 8 from UNICEF, 2 from FAO and one from UNESCO).
The remaining sectoral observers will be fielded by agencies prior to the arrival of the relevant
commodities. Some 41 geographical observers are fielded daily and are deployed in pairs to work
on a tour of five days in Baghdad and the surrounding governorates, followed by a longer tour of
12 days in the more distant governorates. In the food sector, 22 international observers assisted
by 150 national staff are deployed by WFP daily in each of the central and southern governorates
in teams consisting of one or 2 international observers and 10 local assistants. Geographical and
sectoral observers submit observation reports either daily or weekly. The Humanitarian
Coordinator brings any major discrepancies to the attention of the Government of Iraq for
32. In the food sector, observers track commodities from their arrival to governorate warehouses,
silos and mills. At governorate warehouses, observers check the quantities of commodities
received, the dates of arrival and the contract numbers. Stock checks are conducted and, if
discrepancies are found, they are discussed with warehouse officials and noted in observation
reports. At silos, observers note contract numbers, the amount of grain received and dispatched
to mills on a weekly basis and storage conditions. Sectoral observers also relate letters of credit
numbers to the Security Council Committee contract numbers and check the quality of the wheat.
Samples of the wheat flour produced are collected by WFP to make a comparative evaluation of
flour produced in all governorates. Random spot checks of flour/food agents and households in
rural and urban areas are also made by WFP to verify that the distribution of commodities is
carried out efficiently and equitably. Geographical observers interview beneficiaries in streets,
markets and at food/ flour agents to check whether families have received their rations and how
many days each commodity lasts. WFP is conducting household surveys and spot checks to
obtain more detailed information on food security issues.
33. The Multidisciplinary Observation Unit (MDOU) comprises international experts, who
maintain liaison with United Nations agencies to coordinate the overall observation strategy in the
following sectors: food logistics, pharmaceuticals, nutrition, water/sanitation/chemicals, public
health, hospital equipment, agricultural inputs and machinery, education and electricity. Based in
Baghdad, this Unit prepares its own independent weekly analysis of the findings of the
Geographical Observation Unit (GOU) and sectoral agencies for direct transmission to the
Department of Humanitarian Affairs in New York. The MDOU also utilizes data collected by the
GOU and agencies to track commodities from their arrival in Iraq through to their final
distribution. Tracking requirements vary according to each sector. In the food sector,
commodities are tracked by reference to documents such as Lloyd's Register's authentication of
goods arriving in Iraq; computer printouts obtained from warehouse managers; computer
allocation of goods; and observation forms compiled by United Nations personnel showing actual
stock positions. Any discrepancies are investigated by the MDOU. The aim of the tracking is to
ensure that commodities are received according to contract and are distributed equitably to
governorates and then on to beneficiaries in a systematic way. Statistical random sampling
methods are used to carry out spot checks at food/flour agents.
34. Deployment strategies and guidelines have been produced in consultation with the GOU and
relevant United Nations agencies. The initial deployment of United Nations observers focused on
following incoming commodities through the key points in the distribution system. As the
quantity of goods increased, attention shifted to covering as many of the facilities involved as
possible. All of the mills and silos used for wheat grain processing have been visited regularly.
Now that observers have increased their familiarity with the tracking of resolution 986 (1995)
commodities, attention is being paid to undertaking a wider range of checks in areas of specific
35. The three-tier observation system for resolution 986 (1995) comprises the GOU, sectoral
agencies and the MDOU. In the case of food, the GOU and WFP report separately on their
observation visits to key points along the Iraqi distribution mechanism. At headquarters in
Baghdad, both groups enter quantitative and qualitative information from observer reports onto
their respective databases. At the end of every week, the information is synthesized into a
narrative account supported by statistical tables and sent to the MDOU. If discrepancies are
found in the GOU and WFP reports, multidisciplinary observers provide an independent
assessment. Consequently, the three-tier observation system provides checks and balances in
order to ensure confidence in both the coverage and outcome of the observation process.
36. Prior to the first arrivals of medical supplies on 9 May, WHO observers had conducted a
thorough assessment and analysis of the drug distribution system of the Government. A
computerized programme had also been set up to follow medical supplies as they arrived, which,
for the first time, allowed the speedy monitoring of stock positions country-wide, as well as an
immediate check of the actual availability within each governorate. The computerized programme
includes a master list of all medical items included in the distribution plan, with the Security
Council Committee reference number. In this way, all shipments can be carefully monitored at all
levels of the drug distribution system. At present, WHO has four teams of observers in central
and southern Iraq; each team is composed of one international pharmacist assisted by one national
pharmacist. A follow-up mechanism has been developed by the Ministry of Health and the
MDOU in cases where discrepancies are identified during observation. WHO has also been in
contact with the quality control laboratory in Baghdad to ensure that no delays hamper the timely
distribution of drugs and medical supplies.
37. Although as at 26 May no commodities other than food and medicine had reached Iraq, the
United Nations observation mechanism continued preparations in the other sectors to observe
their eventual distribution. Thus, in collaboration with relevant departments, FAO has established
observation procedures and has suggested a priority list of projects to be implemented as soon as
they are approved by the Security Council Committee. To ensure adequate storage of incoming
commodities, FAO is now preparing warehouses in Baghdad and Basrah, in cooperation with the
Ministry of Agriculture. In addition, because of their potential dual use, all equipment and
commodities used for agricultural spraying are strictly controlled by FAO, which also manages a
warehouse storing required helicopter spare parts. With regard to the water and sanitation sector,
UNICEF has updated its database and developed a system to track the delivery of all supplies.
UNICEF and UNESCO have agreed on observation responsibilities with regard to education and
UNDP has refined the observation criteria for the electricity sector.
38. From the time food commodities began to arrive in Iraq on 20 March until 30 May,
geographical observers had conducted a total of 5,280 visits in the 15 central and southern
governorates of Iraq: 267 to the 24 warehouses; 187 to the 19 silos; 570 to the 99 mills; 2,021 to
food/flour agents; and 2,235 interviews with beneficiaries.
39. Over the past three months, United Nations personnel have enjoyed the requisite freedom of
movement. Visas are granted to all staff promptly; they are issued upon arrival at Habbaniyah
airport, which the Government of Iraq has authorized for the use of international staff. Identity
cards from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which permit unrestricted travel throughout the
country, have now been issued to all observers and other staff involved in implementing resolution
986 (1995). In the 15 central and southern governorates, the overall security situation for United
Nations personnel and their operations has been stable.
40. In general, through sustained liaison, United Nations observers have been granted satisfactory
access to relevant information and to Iraqi officials. Contact with officials in warehouses, silos
and mills and with food/flour agents has been generally smooth. With regard to relations with the
government facilitators, government complaints have been expressed on four occasions about the
pertinence of some questions asked by observers and their attitude as regards local traditions.
The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator has also expressed concern about five occasions
when facilitators have interfered with the observation process, including interviews with
food/flour agents and beneficiaries. These issues have been resolved to the satisfaction of the
United Nations and the Government of Iraq. The United Nations will continue to keep all these
concerns under close review to ensure that the work of observers remains unimpeded.
41. As at 30 May, out of 20 allocated United Nations observers, 15 were deployed in the three
northern governorates: 3 geographical observers and 12 sectoral observers (3 from WFP, 4 from
WHO, 2 from FAO and one each from UNICEF, UNESCO and UNDP). In observing food
distribution, 3 WFP international observers and 80 national staff are fielded daily. In response to
complaints from local authorities in Erbil that the wheat flour distributed in April was not fit for
human consumption, WFP sent samples to laboratories abroad. The results clearly showed that
the quality of the wheat flour met accepted international standards.
42. An observation plan for the distribution of medical goods was drawn up by WHO in
consultation with local authorities in April. It was put into effect upon the arrival of the first
medical supplies in Dahuk, Erbil and Sulaymaniyah on 28 May. The shipment, a small quantity of
intravenous solution, was unloaded at the WHO-managed warehouse in Erbil and immediately
inspected. On 29 May, distribution started in Erbil, Dahuk and Sulaymaniyah in the presence of
United Nations observers.
VIII. OBSERVATIONS ON EFFICIENCY, EQUITABILITY AND ADEQUACY
43. The United Nations is responsible for determining whether efficient, equitable and adequate
distribution of commodities has occurred. To date, the only sector represented in sufficient
quantities to assess whether equitable distribution has taken place has been food and related items.
44. With minor exceptions resulting from normal handling losses and packaging damages, the
commodities have been transported efficiently throughout the country; clear, up-to-date computer
and manual records on commodities are kept in the governorate warehouses; foodstuffs are
consistently stored in hygienic conditions; and food/flour agents collect the rations for their clients
according to plan, following a monthly calendar. Since 20 March, United Nations observers have
not detected any significant or unacceptable losses during the handling and processing of
resolution 986 (1995) commodities. To date, at Umm Qasr, losses during handling amounted to
1.3 per cent, which is considered acceptable. Observers regularly report on any wastage due to
poor storage during transport to governorates/beneficiaries if it occurs. No major discrepancies
have been reported, however. Losses through rain damage have been insignificant. One truck
was hijacked in Basrah and the Iraqi authorities are investigating.
45. With regard to the processing of wheat, analyses have shown that the average national
extraction rate is about 90 per cent yield of flour. There was little difference between mills, with
extraction rates ranging between 87.6 and 90.2 per cent. However, geographical and sectoral
observers have noted repeatedly that many mills currently operate at maximum capacity with
outdated equipment, thereby creating a risk of breakdowns that could have a negative effect on
the production of flour. Port equipment in Umm Qasr, such as vacuum suction pumps for
off-loading bulk cargo, oblique gantry cranes, forklifts and mobile cranes, are also required.
46. Sufficient observations at the governorate level were carried out during April and May to
indicate that the distribution system is working equitably to bring available commodities to all
governorates. Ministry of Trade allocations to governorates have been verified by spot checks on
warehouse stock levels. WFP reports that virtually no governorate appears to have received
significantly less of any single commodity. Results of observations so far confirm that registered
beneficiaries have received their rations. No major discrepancies were reported in the central and
southern governorates. In the three northern governorates, a few cases of irregularities have been
reported, such as double registration, inaccurate scales and extra charges added by some food
agents. Throughout the country, all indications suggest that, during the two months of the actual
distribution of commodities, all citizens registered under the ration system were receiving a
quantitatively and qualitatively identical food basket. In April, official statistics, checked by WFP,
showed that 22.1 million Iraqis had received the upgraded flour ration.
47. United Nations observers have begun to focus attention on areas of specific concern in order
to verify guaranteed access to the rationing system for all segments of the Iraqi population. In
this respect, the MDOU has produced guidelines that are being used by geographical and sectoral
observers. These guidelines distinguish three possible reasons why citizens might not be receiving
the resolution 986 (1995) rations to which they are entitled: the person is in the process of
registering, the person has chosen not to register or the person has been denied registration.
Should anyone appear to have been denied access to resolution 986 (1995) rations, verification by
another GOU or WFP team takes place, followed by an audit by the MDOU to confirm or
question the original findings. This procedure is designed to ensure that a thorough and
authoritative conclusion is reached. To date, 2,267 observations have been carried out in the
governorates of Basrah, Dhi Qar, Maysan and Ta'mim following the agreed procedures. One
purpose of the visits is to attempt to locate groups of people who may have been denied access to
the rationing system. Although no systematic irregularities with the registration/distribution
system have been identified, following reports that some 400 families had been evicted from
Kirkuk, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator approached the Government of Iraq to
ensure that their entitlement to resolution 986 (1995) rations had not been affected. The United
Nations has taken action to provide such rations to families who have reached Erbil and
Sulaymaniyah. Subsequently, the Humanitarian Coordinator was assured by the Government of
Iraq that these evictions had been halted and that some families had already returned.
48. United Nations nutritionists have concluded that the current food ration under resolution 986
(1995) provides food and nutrient supply at basic survival level. It provides 2,030 calories, which
can be compared with a desirable minimum of not less than 2,500 calories per capita per day.
Compared with basic survival needs, WFP estimates that the resolution 986 (1995) food basket
supplies 93 per cent of the caloric needs, 100 per cent of required protein and 97 per cent of
thiamine needs. However, it covers only 69 per cent of iron, 41 per cent of niacin and vitamin
B12 and 13 per cent of calcium. The vegetable oil, fortified with vitamin A, has not been assessed
in terms of adequacy at the individual level. Since iron deficiency is an issue of public health
concern, there is scope to improve further the nutritional status of expectant women and children
through the fortification of flour with iron. Even if the ration were to be upgraded to provide
2,500 calories per day, there might be little real impact on nutritional status until there were
significant improvements in health services, sanitation and access to clean water.
49. Any assessment of the adequacy of resolution 986 (1995) medical supplies in meeting the
health needs of the population is hampered by the slow and partial arrival of medicines and
medical supplies. Indeed, the continuous degradation of the health sector has been exacerbated
by this situation. According to information provided by the Ministry of Health, no more than 4
per cent of the medicines needed in Iraq were available during the past five months. The number
of surgical operations, performed mostly for emergencies, has decreased by 17 per cent and
laboratory tests by 8 per cent compared with the same period in 1996. The present low bed
occupancy rate in hospitals and the low use of health facilities does not reflect the magnitude of
morbidity, which would be the basis for a realistic assessment of adequacy. It is hoped that, with
the arrival of significant quantities of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, it will be possible to
apply standard indicators that will help to assess the health situation more adequately. To that
end, an inter-agency working group (WHO, UNICEF, the GOU and the MDOU) has been
established. In addition, a joint working group between the Ministry of Health and WHO has
been set up to collect information at the facility level. This will be used for an objective
assessment of the impact of arrivals on the quality of care and of the general adequacy of medical
supplies to meet the needs of the country.
50. Although the non-arrival to date of supplies for the water, sanitation, agricultural, education
and electricity sectors makes it impossible to comment from observation on the adequacy of those
inputs, United Nations agencies stress that the allocations in the distribution plan are not, in their
assessment, sufficient to meet the basic needs of their relevant sectors. For example, in the
electricity sector, the power supply system is in a precarious condition, adversely affecting water
supplies and medical services. Power cuts range from 2 to 20 hours a day in most regions. The
funds needed to rehabilitate the power system in the central and southern regions to a minimal
level are estimated at a much higher figure than the funds allocated in the distribution plan; the
same applies to the situation in the three northern governorates. Monthly water quality control
data have shown consistently high rates of contamination throughout the 15 central and southern
governorates, with more than 40 per cent in Basrah and Dhi Qar. Overall, water systems are
estimated to be working at less than 50 per cent capacity, which has severely reduced access to
potable water. The non-arrival of agricultural inputs has not only delayed improvements to this
sector, but has also left unchecked a worsening situation, with endemic and zoonotic diseases on
51. Recently, United Nations agencies have highlighted urgent needs that are not covered in the
present distribution plan. For example, in the food sector, WFP continues to assist vulnerable
groups throughout the country who are in need of targeted nutritional assistance in addition to the
food ration. Similarly, internally displaced persons in northern Iraq and in the governorates of
Nineveh, Basrah and Nasiriyeh require additional assistance, estimated at $2 million, for the
provision of non-food items (blankets, cooking utensils, heaters) and the rehabilitation of their
living quarters. In the agricultural sector, FAO considers that resolution 986 (1995) is not
covering emergency needs (for example, campaigns to control screw worm outbreaks, vegetable
seed requirements or animal vaccination campaigns in central and southern Iraq). These inputs
are valued at approximately $4.3 million. In the field of education, UNESCO believes that a sum
estimated at $1.8 million is required for projects to support street children and handicapped
children and for the rehabilitation of day care centres in disadvantaged regions of Iraq. Finally,
UNICEF is of the opinion that $13.5 million is required to meet urgent humanitarian needs, inter
alia, for immunization, nutrition or access to water and sanitation.
52. The programme authorized by the Security Council in its resolution 986 (1995) is unique
among all humanitarian assistance operations undertaken by the United Nations in that it seeks to
mitigate some of the negative effects of sanctions being imposed on the recipient country. While
the operation is financed from income accruing as a result of a limited exception to the sanctions
regime, the resolution prescribes numerous safeguards to be implemented in order to ensure that
the humanitarian assistance is not used for purposes other than those specifically authorized and
that it benefits, in equal measure, the needy civilian population as a whole. Also, as a result of the
unsettled political and military situation in the northern governorates of Iraq, the resolution lays
down special arrangements for the provision of assistance to the population in that area, adding
considerably to the complexity of the operation.
53. While every effort was made to anticipate potential problems in the process leading up to the
conclusion of the Memorandum of Understanding on the basis of which the programme is being
executed, the complicated nature of the programme, including its managerial, administrative and
financial aspects, has led to a number of difficulties and delays in the initial stages of its
implementation. I am pleased that the Secretariat and the various participating agencies have now
been able to overcome most, if not all, of these problems, as reflected in the body of the present
report. At the same time, I am troubled by the persistent lags and other difficulties encountered in
the processing of applications, which have resulted in major delays in the provision of several
items, in particular medicine and pharmaceutical supplies, of which there is demonstrably a critical
and sometimes desperate shortage. It is my sincere hope that this situation can soon be remedied
with the cooperation of all concerned so as to ensure, should the Council decide to extend the
programme, that steps are taken to include in the distribution plan the necessary provisions to
satisfy also the unmet needs of an urgent nature mentioned earlier in the report.
54. In the light of the experience gained in the implementation of the programme in the past six months and bearing in mind the continuing humanitarian crisis in Iraq, I recommend the renewal of the programme for a further period of six months.
Summary of food commodity arrivals in Iraq underresolution 986 (1995), as at 28 May 1997
|Commodity||Amount allocated per distribution plan (6 months)||Total amount receiveda||Percentage of distribution plan allocation|
|Vegetable ghee||127 782||29 399||23|
|Infant formula||8 100||3 141||39|
|Pulses||127 782||28 059||22|
|Rice||319 458||62 662||20|
|Salt||19 164||3 564||19|
|Sugar||255 564||15 475||6|
|Tea||19 164||1 103||6|
|Wheat grain||1 419 807b||533 315||38|
|Toilet soap||32 694||5 805||18|
|Detergent||45 768||9 125||20|
|Total||2 375 283||691 648||29|
a Source: MDOU report of 28 May 1997.
b Distribution plan figures cite wheat flour requirements. The yield ratio of flour milled from
wheat grain is estimated at 9:10.
Arrival, distribution and current stock levels of food commoditiesunder resolution 986 (1995) in Iraqi governorates
|Governorate||Detergent||Toilet soap||Iodized salt||Infant formula||Tea||Wheata||Rice||Vegetable ghee||Pulses||Total|
|Nineveh||Arrived||462.00||325.00||239.00||113.00||37.78||55 852.00||5 289.00||2 681.00||2 102.00||67 100.78|
|Distributed||374.00||251.00||-||14.00||-||49 129.00||4 387.00||1 673.00||1 615.00||57 443.00|
|In stock||88.00||74.00||239.00||99.00||37.78||6 723.00||902.00||1 008.00||487.00||9 657.78|
|Ta'mim||Arrived||264.00||201.00||71.00||113.00||53.52||-c||1 670.00||1 150.00||918.00||4 440.52|
|Distributed||268.00||188.00||-||12.00||-||-c||1 474.00||762.00||757.00||3 461.00|
|Baghdad||Arrived||1 772.00||1 247.00||955.00||651.00||226.80||166 256.00||9 108.00||6 510.00||5 922.00||192 647.80|
|Distributed||1 206.00||876.00||-||89.00||-||119 976.00||3 686.00||3 362.00||3 630.00||132 825.00|
|In stock||566.00||371.00||955.00||562.00||226.80||46 280.00||5 422.00||3 148.00||2 292.00||59 822.80|
|Salahaddin||Arrived||330.00||273.00||134.00||112.00||37.78||8 115.00||2 167.00||1 174.00||976.00||13 318.78|
|Distributed||284.00||199.00||-||12.00||-||6 551.00||1 903.00||806.00||759.00||10 514.00|
|In stock||46.00||74.00||134.00||100.00||37.78||1 564.00||264.00||368.00||217.00||2 804.78|
|Diyala||Arrived||308.00||251.00||100.00||74.00||40.64||37 631.00||2 864.00||1 067.00||1 206.00||43 541.64|
|Distributed||308.00||223.00||-||14.00||-||35 357.00||2 381.00||1 043.00||960.00||40 286.00|
|In stock||-||28.00||100.00||60.00||40.64||2 274.00||483.00||24.00||246.00||3 255.64|
|Anbar||Arrived||374.00||293.00||197.00||112.00||58.04||3 101.00||2 869.00||1 003.00||1 231.00||9 238.04|
|Distributed||320.00||224.00||-||17.00||-||1 041.00||2 273.00||909.00||898.00||5 682.00|
|In stock||54.00||69.00||197.00||95.00||58.04||2 060.00||596.00||94.00||333.00||3 556.04|
|Babil||Arrived||255.00||167.00||172.00||69.00||40.57||32 717.00||1 536.00||1 048.00||1 045.00||37 049.57|
|Distributed||255.00||166.00||-||7.00||-||24 790.00||1 495.00||725.00||710.00||28 148.00|
|In stock||-||1.00||172.00||62.00||40.57||7 927.00||41.00||323.00||335.00||8 901.57|
|Karbala||Arrived||220.00||155.00||128.00||93.00||36.04||16 996.00||1 710.00||732.00||804.00||20 874.04|
|Distributed||220.00||154.00||-||11.00||-||14 221.00||1 563.00||626.00||579.00||17 374.00|
|In stock||-||1.00||128.00||82.00||36.04||2 775.00||147.00||106.00||225.00||3 500.04|
|Najaf||Arrived||308.00||248.00||94.00||93.00||37.12||16 255.00||2 108.00||1 038.00||835.00||21 016.12|
|Distributed||258.00||143.00||-||25.00||-||15 111.00||1 937.00||772.00||686.00||18 932.00|
|In stock||50.00||105.00||94.00||68.00||37.12||1 144.00||171.00||266.00||149.00||2 084.12|
|Qadisiyah||Arrived||308.00||222.00||114.00||94.00||20.27||13 307.00||2 145.00||1 162.00||1 688.00||19 060.27|
|Distributed||268.00||188.00||-||16.00||-||10 689.00||1 900.00||949.00||1 453.00||15 463.00|
|In stock||40.00||34.00||114.00||78.00||20.27||2 618.00||245.00||213.00||235.00||3 597.27|
|Muthanna||Arrived||176.00||120.00||78.00||113.00||20.30||9 459.00||1 303.00||589.00||603.00||12 461.30|
|Distributed||161.00||113.00||-||16.00||-||7 913.00||830.00||454.00||421.00||9 908.00|
|In stock||15.00||7.00||78.00||97.00||20.30||1 546.00||473.00||135.00||182.00||2 553.30|
|Basrah||Arrived||574.00||349.00||165.00||280.00||145.48||34 584.00||4 547.00||1 678.00||1 759.00||44 081.48|
|Distributed||574.00||350.00||-||49.00||-||32 917.00||4 223.00||1 412.00||1 461.00||40 986.00|
|In stock||-||-1.00b||165.00||231.00||145.48||1 667.00||324.00||266.00||298.00||3 095.48|
|Maysan||Arrived||264.00||200.00||114.00||169.00||20.30||7 132.00||1 836.00||720.00||812.00||11 267.30|
|Distributed||238.00||124.00||-||40.00||-||5 556.00||1 673.00||669.00||618.00||8 918.00|
|In stock||26.00||76.00||114.00||129.00||20.30||1 576.00||163.00||51.00||194.00||2 349.30|
|Dhi Qar||Arrived||352.00||252.00||214.00||223.00||93.04||19 203.00||3 469.00||1 814.00||1 380.00||27 000.04|
|Distributed||352.00||252.00||-||27.00||-||16 527.00||2 840.00||1 136.00||1 068.00||22 202.00|
|In stock||-||-||214.00||196.00||93.04||2 676.00||629.00||678.00||312.00||4 798.04|
|Wasit||Arrived||277.00||201.00||152.00||74.00||37.78||25 093.00||2 126.00||886.00||991.00||29 837.78|
|Distributed||277.00||194.00||-||11.00||-||19 851.00||1 904.00||787.00||788.00||23 812.00|
|In stock||-||7.00||152.00||63.00||37.78||5 242.00||222.00||99.00||203.00||6 025.78|
|Dahuk||Arrived||260.00||153.00||97.00||172.00||24.13||12 335.00||2 076.00||978.00||908.00||17 003.13|
|Distributed||173.00||121.00||-||15.00||-||11 468.00||1 128.00||434.00||439.00||13 778.00|
|In stock||87.00||32.00||97.00||157.00||24.13||867.00||948.00||544.00||469.00||3 225.13|
|Erbil||Arrived||334.00||257.00||140.00||205.00||49.50||19 466.00||2 667.00||1 372.00||1 292.00||25 782.50|
|Distributed||152.00||107.00||-||54.00||-||19 213.00||1 079.00||431.00||647.00||21 683.00|
|In stock||182.00||150.00||140.00||151.00||49.50||253.00||1 588.00||941.00||645.00||4 099.50|
|Sulayman-iyah||Arrived||330.00||311.00||280.00||251.00||73.75||23 547.00||3 284.00||1 617.00||1 454.00||31 147.75|
|Distributed||166.00||116.00||-||11.00||-||17 511.00||1 176.00||470.00||437.00||19 887.00|
|In stock||164.00||195.00||280.00||240.00||73.75||6 036.00||2 108.00||1 147.00||1 017.00||11 260.75|
|Total||Arrived||7 168.00||5 225.00||3 444.00||3 011.00||1 052.84||501 049.00||52 774.00||27 219.00||25 926.00||626 868.84|
|Distributed||5 854.00||3 989.00||-||440.00||-||407 821.00||37 852.00||17 420.00||17 926.00||491 302.00|
|In stock||1 314.00||1 236.00||3 444.00||2 571.00||1 052.84||93 228.00||14 922.00||9 799.00||8 000.00||135 566.84|
Source: MDOU report of 28 May 1997.
a Distribution plan figures cite wheat flour requirements. The yield ratio of flour milled from
wheat grain is estimated at 9:10.
b Because arrivals were insufficient for complete distribution, governorate warehouses used their
own stocks to make up the balance.
c In Ta'mim, four mills receive wheat to produce flour for Sulaymaniyah governorate (shown
under Sulaymaniyah). The other mill in Ta'mim receives wheat from Diyala governorate (it
produces 6 per cent of Ta'mim's flour requirement). Diyala supplies the remaining 94 per cent of
Ta'mim's flour requirement (shown under Diyala).
Observations under resolution 986 (1995) from20 March to 30 May 1997
|Governorate||Number of observations by geographical observers||Number of observations by sectoral observersa||Total|
|Southern and central|
|Baghdad||1 186||216||1 402|
|4 227||1 053||5 280|
|43||26 052b||26 095|
|Grand total||4 270||27 105||31 375|
a Observations by international WFP staff.
b Sectoral observations in the three northern governorates were made by national staff supervised
by three international WFP staff.
1.In addition to these expenditures, funds under this account will be utilized to reimburse the account for purchase of humanitarian supplies for central and southern Iraq, for food and medicine delivered to the three northern governorates under the bulk purchase arrangement with the Government of Iraq.
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