UN mission to assess Iraq aid

ARBIL (Reuter) - The United Nations is sending in a team to assess the needs of 3.5 million mainly Kurdish people in northern Iraq. Amid rumblings of a change in government for the north, the UN mission will assess Iraq's humanitarian needs for the next 12 months, after the current winter relief programme expires on 31 March.

Kurdish leaders say the Iraqi regime has tightened the screws in the last three months. Customs duties, the main source of government revenue, have fallen since Turkey halted sanctions- breaking trade links with Iraq.

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