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UN OKs final claims for Kuwait invasion
Updated: 2005-07-01 13:53

The U.N. panel overseeing compensation for victims of Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait has approved its final claims, bringing the total award to $52.5 billion, the world body said Thursday.

The awards by the U.N. Compensation Commission wrap up 12 years of work in which over 2 million claims from individuals, governments and companies for $354 billion were processed.

The commission "has completed one of its two major goals, which is dealing with claims processing," spokesman Joe Sills said.

But the payments, which have been running well behind the claim approvals, will continue, he said.

On Thursday, the panel awarded more than $366 million to successful claimants, including the governments of Iran, Jordan, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, which were compensated for damage caused by Iraq to their natural resources, the commission said.

Jordan received the biggest award of $162 million. A further $25.9 million went to Palestinians who lived in Kuwait or owned small businesses there at the time of the invasion, while the remainder was awarded to individuals and governments from other countries.

The U.N. Security Council decided last year that the claims would be funded by 5 percent of Iraqi oil sales.

The panel, which consists of the 15 permanent Security Council members, currently is paying out about $200 million every three months, with individuals receiving priority. The next payment is scheduled for mid-July.

The overall amount released for individuals, companies and governments is now $19.2 billion, the commission said. It is expected to take years to pay all the claims, with big oil companies having to wait until the end.

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