Iraq to obtain rest of Oil-for-Food funds by year end: UN official

09:46, April 07, 2010      

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The Iraqi government has a "realistic" plan to take full ownership by the end of this year of a fund administering proceeds from export sales of petroleum under the now defunct Oil-for-Food Program, a top UN budget official told the Security Council Tuesday.

"Once all the outstanding activities under the Oil-For-Food Program are concluded, and taking into account issues mentioned by the secretary-general's report circulated to the Council members, all other remaining funds should be transferred from the Iraqi Escrow Account to the DFI (Development Fund for Iraq)," said UN Controller Jun Yamazaki.

Yamazaki made the statement as he was presenting to the 15 Security Council members the latest report on the issue by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The Development Fund for Iraq was established in 2003, the same year the Security Council phased out the Oil-for-Food Program, which allowed the sanctions-bound government of Saddam Hussein to use some monitored oil sales revenue for humanitarian purchases.

In 2003, proceeds from petroleum sales, along with the balance of the Oil-for-Food funds put under escrow and some frozen assets, were slowly transferred to the Development Fund for Iraq, overseen by the International Advisory and Monitoring Board (IAMB).

As of the end of 2008, the fund had received nearly 180 billion U.S. dollars, according to a 2009 report by Ban.

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