Donors, led by Japan, give $1 billion for Iraq reconstruction
Nineteen countries meeting in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) on February 28-29, contributed one billion dollars to rebuild schools and health facilities, restore water supplies and electricity, and to meet other priority needs in Iraq.
It was the first meeting of the Donors' Committee of the International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq. The Madrid conference established the facility in October 2003. The United Nations (UN) Development Group jointly administer the facility.
Japan, the leading donor, contributed $450 million, and was elected chair of the Donors' Committee for the first year. This includes $360 million for the trust fund administered by the UN Development Group and managed by UNDP. Another $90 million goes to the trust fund administered by the World Bank. After this year's budget is approved, Japan plans to contribute another $40 million to World Bank trust fund.
The facility will coordinate and channel contributions for rebuilding work in close cooperation with the Iraqi authorities and donors. The funds represent part of the follow-up by donors towards meeting the $33 billion pledged in Madrid.
Minister of Planning and Development Cooperation from Iraq Mehdi Al-Hafedh presented an overview of development priorities for the year and a list of 700 projects totalling four billion dollars. He called the country's needs "enormous and urgent."
The initial members of the facility's Donors' Committee, having donated more than $10 million each, include Australia, Canada, the European Commission, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Norway, Qatar, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. The committee is also open to two representatives of smaller contributors. — (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)