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Oil for food timeline:
read the dates and weep
14 Apr 1995 Resolution 986 establishing the principle of 'oil for food' is adopted by the UN Security Council. Iraq refuses to accept its terms.

20 May 1996 Memorandum of Understanding on oil-for-food programme signed by Iraq and UN.

10 Dec 1996 Pumping of Iraqi oils starts, marking beginning of 'Phase I' of programme.

20 Mar 1997 First shipment of chick peas and white beans enters Iraq.

9 May 1997 First medical supplies (intravenous solution) arrive.

4 Jun 1997 Security Council approves six-month extension of plan ('Phase II'). But Iraq says it won't pump oil until a new Distribution Plan for the food and medicines has been approved.

4 Aug 1997 UN Secretary General approves new distribution plan.

6 Nov 1997 First goods under Phase II arrive. Many goods from Phase I still not received.

5 Dec 1997 Phase III begins, but Iraq says it won't pump oil until a new Distribution Plan has been approved.

20 Jan 1998 First medical supplies under Phase II (vaccines for babies) arrives.

23 Feb 1998 Summary of contracts blocked or delayed by Sanctions Committee:
  Phase I   Phase II  Phase III
Total  879 541 43
Blocked 44     1  0
On Hold  5 27 1
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Out There News's Paul Eedle reports from Baghdad

Delve deeper:

Cutting through propaganda - a day in a Baghdad hospital

The 'oil for food programme' - an Iraqi family's rations

Oil-for-food timeline:read the dates and weep