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UN to Resume Humanitarian Aid Shipments to Iraq - 2003-03-28

The United Nations Security Council has voted unanimously to resume shipments of humanitarian aid to Iraq through the oil-for-food program.

The Security Council resolution transfers control over the oil for food program to Secretary-General Kofi Annan for a period of 45 days.

Just before the start of the war in Iraq, Mr. Annan had suspended the aid program, which began in 1996 and is the sole source of food for about 60 percent of the Iraqi people.

The council had debated revamping the program for the past week. Some council members, including Russia and Syria, initially opposed the measure, arguing that the resolution could legitimize the war and give the U.S.-led coalition control of the U.N. program.

The final text that the council agreed upon emphasizes that the responsibility for humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people will fall to the United States and Britain if they take control of the country.

The White House responded to the passage of the U.N. resolution saying President Bush is pleased with the outcome.