UN and Iraq ready new aid distribution plan
The United Nations and Iraq are preparing a new aid distribution plan for the latest phase of the oil-for-food program, the UN aid coordinator Tun Myat told AFP on Wednesday.
The joint coordination committee, which is co-chaired by the United Nations and the government of Iraq, met Sunday "as part of the ongoing preparations to conclude the distribution plan for phase nine of the humanitarian program," Tun Myat said.
The Iraqi cabinet called the same day on the United Nations to give the green light to Iraqi financial assistance to the Palestinians and to impoverished Americans.
Baghdad says it has set aside aid of one billion euros ($940 million) for the Palestinians and their uprising against Israel and has also offered €100 million ($94 million) to poor US citizens.
The United Nations has so far failed to approve the Palestinian aid, but noted that the oil-for-food program was designed to benefit Iraqis only.
"So far, there has not been any notification of approval by the Security Council," Tun Myat said on Tuesday. "My understanding is that there has been no agreement because some Security Council members said the original oil-for-food resolution was primarily meant for the benefit of Iraq," he said.
The matter had been discussed by the UN sanctions committee and passed on to the Security Council.
Iraq, which has been under an embargo since it invaded Kuwait in 1990, is allowed under the oil-for-food program to export a limited amount of oil in exchange for food and other basic necessities. — (AFP, Baghdad)
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