UN Demands Improved Efficiency

UN News
August 15, 2000

A senior United Nations official said today there was a need to improve the efficiency of the UN oil-for-food scheme, a programme that enables Iraq to sell petroleum to generate resources for the humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people. Benon Sevan, Executive Director of the UN Office of the Iraq Programme, told a press conference in Baghdad that the programme had shortcomings and should work more effectively. Mr. Sevan also underscored the impact of holds placed on contracts for Iraqi oil by the Security Council Sanctions Committee. According to statistics released today by Mr. Sevan's office, contracts on hold are now valued at around $1.7 billion.

At his press conference in Baghdad, Mr. Sevan also called attention to Iraq's urgent need for trucks and other transport vehicles to cope with supplies that are arriving in increasing quantities. Over the past week alone, Iraq has received nearly 90,000 tonnes of wheat, 700,000 tonnes of tea and 12,000 tonnes of cooking oil.

Mr. Sevan is due to wrap up his 16-day trip to Iraq tomorrow. During the visit, he held meetings with numerous government officials and toured the three northern governorates where the UN implements the humanitarian programme on behalf of the Iraqi Government.

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