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India announces $20 million assistance for war-hit Iraqis
Indo-Asian News service, PTI
New Delhi, April 05, 2003
First Published: 19:56 IST(4/4/2003)
Last Updated: 13:22 IST(5/4/2003)

India on Friday announced humanitarian assistance of 20 million dollar for the war-affected people of Iraq in response to an emergency appeal from the United Nations.

The assistance, in cash and kind, will include 50,000 tonnes of wheat worth $8 million to the World Food Programme, external affairs ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna said here.

"Responding to the UN emergency appeal for immediate humanitarian assistance to the people of Iraq, the government of India will make available $20 million in cash and kind, which would include 50,000 tones of wheat to the World Food Programme," he said.

Modalities for sending relief materials and aid would be worked out by the Indian mission in New York with the UN and its agencies, he said.

India had opposed the invasion of Iraq by the US-led forces and wanted all actions against Baghdad to be mandated by the UN Security Council mandate.

Sarna noted the aid would have noting to do with existing contracts between India and Iraq under the UN's "oil for food" programme.

"The UN Security Council resolution 1472 addresses the issue of remaining contracts under the oil for food programme," he said. The process is on to re-order the priority of existing contracts to bring up with those of a humanitarian nature.


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