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U.N. Anticipates Paying More Than $100 Million to End Oil-for-Food Program in Iraq

The United Nations (searchexpects to pay more than $100 million to shut down Iraq's oil-for-food program, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan (searchsaid Monday.

The council voted last month to lift all economic sanctions against Iraq and to eliminate the program by Nov. 21.

The program allowed the former Iraqi regime to sell unlimited quantities of oil, provided most of the money went to buy food, medicine and other humanitarian goods. The program was adopted in 1996 to help ordinary Iraqis cope with sanctions imposed after Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait (search).

The "best estimate for all known and projected costs" associated with phasing out the program over six months is $106 million, Annan said in a report.

At the end of the six-month period, the U.S.-led coalition will take charge of all responsibilities from the oil-for-food program.

Iraq exported 3.4 billion barrels of oil under the program, generating some $64 billion in revenue, according to the United Nations. Nearly $27 billion in humanitarian supplies were delivered to Iraq under the program.

The rest of the proceeds from oil sales went toward war reparations, weapons inspections and the oil-for-food program's administrative costs.

Annan suspended the program in March, on the eve of the U.S.-led military campaign that toppled Saddam Hussein's regime.