The Japanese government has offered $1.5 billion in near-term aid for the reconstruction of Iraq. The payment is the largest financial contribution to be offered by a state that is not affiliated to the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA).
According to Japanese media, the funds are just the first installment of what could be a five-billion-dollar finance package. The aid will be injected into the Iraqi power, education, water and employment sectors.
Iraq needs some $36 billion for reconstruction for the years 2004 to 2007, according to the findings of by the United Nations Development Group (UNDG) and the World Bank Group with assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The EU has suggested putting up $250 million, Canada has made an offer of $200 million and the US has requested from Congress a $20 billion budget for Iraqi assistance for 2004. Final offers will be presented at the Donor Conference in Madrid on October 23-24, 2003.
Japan gave Iraq $11 billion after the 1991 Gulf War. In September, the Japanese Ministry of Finance announced the transfer of over $98 million in Iraqi frozen assets to the Development Fund for Iraq. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )