4 April 2003

Press Statement on Iraq Humanitarian Situation by Security Council President

NEW YORK, 3 April (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the press statement on Iraq delivered today by Security Council President Adolfo Aguilar Zinser (Mexico):

Today the members of the Security Council listened to a preliminary assessment of the humanitarian situation in Iraq presented by the Deputy Secretary-General, Louise Fréchette, with the presence of the Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, Ramiro da Silva.

The Security Council takes note of the comments of Ms. Fréchette, indicating that while there is not a critical situation at present, there still remains the danger of such.

In this regard, Ms. Fréchette indicated that the United Nations flash appeal launched on 28 March, with a total requirement of $2.2 billion, already has pledges for $1.2 billion.

Members of the Council expressed concern regarding access of relief assistance to the Iraqi population. Following adoption of resolution 1472 (2003), immediate measures have been taken for the prioritization of contracts and the coordination with neighbouring countries to establish alternative ports of delivery.

While Ms. Fréchette indicated that there are still 3000 national United Nations staff on the ground and that deliveries are being carried out on a pragmatic basis, the Security Council stressed the coordinating role of the Secretary-General.

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