A brief history of the UN Oil-For-Food Programme
Creation of the Oil-for-Food Programme was critical to maintaining international support for economic sanctions against Saddam Hussein.india Updated: Dec 03, 2005 12:17 IST
The United Nations Oil-for-Food Programme was established on April 14, 1995 by Security Council Resolution 986. Operations commenced in December 10, 1996 to allow Iraq to export oil to bona fide oil traders for imports of food and other humanitarian necessities to relieve the impact that UN economic sanctions on the Hussein regime were having on ordinary Iraqis.
Creation of the Oil-for-Food Programme was critical to maintaining international support for economic sanctions against Saddam Hussein. At the time, increased international concern for the impact of the sanctions on the Iraqi people was eroding support for the sanctions regime. Both the United States and the United Kingdom, as permanent members of the UN Security Council, and principal proponents of sanctions against the Iraqi ruler, voted for the creation of the Programme and for its expansion in 1998.
From 1997 - 2002, Iraq sold more than $67 billion in oil through Oil-for-Food and issued $38 billion in letters of credit to purchase commodities for the Iraqi people, according to the US Government Accountability Office (GAO).
The programme ended in November 2003 when the Security Council adopted Resolution 1483, which lifted the civilian sanctions on Iraq and provided for termination of the programme within six months. All remaining activity was transferred to the administration of the Coalition Provisional Authority and remaining funds to the Iraqi Development Fund.