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UN OKs Food Distribution in Iraq

Monday June 14 11:13 PM ET

UN OKs Food Distribution in Iraq

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Secretary-General Kofi Annan has approved Iraq's
six-month plan to distribute goods from the U.N. oil-for-food program, but
stressed that food and medicine remain a priority for Baghdad.

Iraq submitted the distribution proposal last week, suggesting that just
over $3 billion from U.N.-supervised oil exports be used to buy food,
medicine and other humanitarian supplies, including $300 million for oil
industry spare parts.

Iraq has been barred from selling its oil on the open market since the
Security Council imposed an oil embargo following its 1990 invasion of
Kuwait. The Security Council launched the oil-for-food program in 1996 to
try to care for Iraqis suffering under the sanctions.

Baghdad is allowed to export $5.26 billion in oil over six months, but has
only managed to export around $3 billion over the past year because of low
oil prices and production limits.

Iraq is also allowed to use funds from oil sales to rebuild its
infrastructure, as well as use $300 million over six months to buy oil
industry spare parts.

A group of oil experts has been in Iraq for the past week as part of the
preparations for a new report due later this month to the Security Council
on the requirements of rebuilding the oil industry, which was decimated by
the Gulf War and nearly nine years of sanctions.

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