The U.N. panel overseeing compensation for victims of Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait said Thursday it has paid a US$391.2 million (EUR284.7 million) installment from Iraqi oil funds to cover claims for losses and damages.
The latest transfer - which consists of 37 separate payments to governments, corporations and international organizations ranging from US$2 million (EUR1.5 million) to US$14 million (EUR10.2 million) - brings the total amount paid in compensation to more than US$22.5 billion (EUR16.3 billion).
The UNCC is made up of the 15 U.N. Security Council member countries. Money to pay the claims comes from Iraqi oil sales. The commission has approved US$52.5 billion (EUR38.2 billion) in total compensation.
Until the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003, the commission received 25 percent of the proceeds from the U.N. oil-for-food program, which allowed the former Iraqi regime to sell oil and buy food, medicine and other humanitarian goods despite international sanctions.
Since the invasion, the amount UNCC receives from export sales of Iraqi petroleum and petroleum products has been reduced to 5 percent.
In April, the UNCC asked member states to help it recover more than US$80 million (EUR58 million) in overpayments made to claimants after an audit found that several thousand victims had received more than they were entitled to.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.