European Commission sets priorities for Iraq aid in 2004
The European Commission (EC) has adopted a program setting priorities for re-construction assistance to Iraq in 2004. Of the €200 million pledged by the Commission at the Madrid Donors Conference for Iraq, €160 million is to be disbursed this year.
The EC program’s three priorities are restoring the delivery of key public services; boosting employment and reducing poverty; strengthening governance, civil society and human rights in Iraq. The money will largely be distributed through the International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq managed by the United Nations (UN) and the World Bank.
The Madrid Donor's Conference for Iraq, held this past October, launched the international effort to assist Iraq in its political, economic and social transformation and its rehabilitation and reconstruction. The Madrid conference also welcomed the creation of the International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq managed by the United Nations Development Group and the World Bank.
In Madrid, the European Union and the Accession Countries pledged more than €1.25 billion, mainly in grants, for Iraq's reconstruction. Of this total, €200 million was pledged from the Community budget for 2003 and 2004 - €160 million for 2004. This pledge came on top of the €100 million in humanitarian assistance the Community set aside for Iraq in 2003. — (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)