World Bank indicates lending framework for Iraq could reach $4 billion
The World Bank’s financial support for the reconstruction of Iraq could range between $3.4 billion to four billion dollars during the next five fiscal years. The lending could start with $500 million for the years 2004 and 2005.
The World Bank Board of Executive Directors held preliminary discussions on Tuesday, October 14, 2003. The bank’s management emphasized that these indicative figures represent a range of possible support and that it has not yet been endorsed by the board or the donors to the International Development Association. The lending is also subject to several other factors that are mandated by the operational procedures of the institution, including security on the ground and governance.
“The World Bank is committed to help the Iraqi people with the reconstruction of their country and, particularly, in reducing poverty,” said World Bank President James D. Wolfensohn. “I believe the lending framework for the bank that has been indicated is appropriate in that context. But I would emphasize that today’s discussions were preliminary and no decisions have been made.”
Consultations are ongoing and it is expected that the Board will meet again for further discussions prior to the International Donor Conference to be held in Madrid on October 23-24, 2003. The conference will seek funding from the donor community to address priority reconstruction and rehabilitation needs, focusing on both urgent and medium-term needs for supporting sustainable development.
Last week, the Core Group on Iraq -- the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the US, the European Union (EU) and Japan-- in cooperation with the UN, World Bank and IMF discussed a Joint Iraq Needs Assessment, which was initiated in Iraq in May. The assessment estimates the overall stock of reconstruction needs over the period 2004-2007 in 14 priority sectors to be in the order of $36 billion. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)