The value of Iraqi import contracts currently blocked by the UN sanctions committee fell slightly last week to a total of $2.26 billion , the United Nations said Tuesday.
This included $1.95 billion worth of contracts for humanitarian supplies under the oil-for-food programme set up in December 1996 to soften the impact of the 10-year-old Gulf War sanctions on the Iraqi people.
Almost $310 million worth of orders for oil industry spare parts and equipment were also still on hold, the Office of the Iraq Programme said in its weekly update.
It said the sanctions committee released 10 contracts from hold last week worth $137.2 million, after suppliers provided technical specifications. One contract, worth $98.4 million, was for gas turbine equipment in the electricity sector. The others were for pick-up trucks, transformers, pipes and pumps.
At the same time, the committee placed 41 new contracts on hold worth $73.6 million, including orders for an irrigation system, fuel tankers, a chemical laboratory, trailers and fibre optic cable.
In the week ending November 10, Iraq exported 10.6 million barrels of crude oil for revenue estimated at 299 million dollars, the office said. This took to 326.6 million barrels the volume of oil imported under UN supervision since the current six-month phase of the programme started on June 9.
The sales brought in estimated revenue of more than 8.4 billion dollars, of which 53 percent was available for imports to the government-controlled southern and central regions of Iraq. Another 13 percent is for imports to the northern Kurdish regions.
Most of the remaining 34 percent goes to a fund to compensate victims of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990 and the subsequent occupation of the emirate. The current phase of the oil-for-food programme will end on December 5.—AFP.
©--Agence France Presse.