Bremer: Rebuilding of Iraq to cost tens of billions
Iraq will need "several tens of billions" of dollars from overseas in the next year to rebuild its infrastructure and revive its economy, and American taxpayers and foreign governments will be asked to contribute substantial sums, said top US civil administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer in an interview published on August 27, 2003.
Iraqi revenue would not nearly cover the bill for economic needs "almost impossible to exaggerate,” the The Washington Post cited Bremer as saying. Meeting the nation’s electrical demand alone will cost two billion dollars, he conveyed, while a national system to deliver clean water will cost around $16 billion over a period of four years.
The figures, which must be added to the four billion dollars the Pentagon spends every month on military operations in Iraq, prove that the price of the Iraqi occupation is on the rise. To tap one source of cash, a "very intense dialogue" is underway with Iraq's governing council regarding the need to open the country to foreign investment, Bremer said.
That effort includes deciding the fate of 192 state-owned enterprises - most significantly the oil industry, which Bremer feels ought to remain in Iraqi hands.
Meanwhile, Bremer described a "massive undertaking" to get Iraq functioning again. He said the project will take years and billions of dollars, but he described conditions in Iraq as more hopeful than press reports suggest. “I keep reading stories about it's a country in chaos. This is simply not true," Bremer said. "It is not a country in chaos, and Baghdad is not a city in chaos." — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)