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[ This message has been sent to you via the CASI-analysis mailing list ] What can be done to counter the BBC's deliberate misinformation? They repeatedly try to put the blame on 'mismanagement' rather than the real reasons. Obviously the real reasons for the detroyed infrastructure would lay the US and UK open to a massive reparation bill. In my view, any reasonable redevelopment in Iraq needs this (and getting rid of the occupation). Otherwise, Iraqis will not get back to their 1990 standard of living in our lifetimes. Perhaps we could consider refocussing and campaigning? eg become CORFI: Campaign on Reparations for Iraq or CAFRI Campaign for Reparations for Iraq? http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3740016.stm Cost of Iraqi reconstruction The US-led invasion inflicted heavy damage on Iraq The effort to rebuild Iraq is in the spotlight again as a conference of donor nations gets underway in Tokyo. Rebuilding Iraq's shattered infrastructure ranks as one of the most challenging reconstruction tasks faced by the international community since the World War II. Last year's US-led invasion caused widespread damage, but much of the country was already in a decrepit state after years of mismanagement under Saddam Hussein's regime. An eight-year war against Iran during the 1980s, coupled with economic sanctions imposed in the wake of Saddam's ill-fated invasion of Kuwait in 1990, also took their toll. Last year, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund calculated that restoring Iraq's water, power, road and telecommunications networks would cost $35.8bn (£20bn ; 28.8bn euros). Repair bill The Coalition Provisional Authority, which governed Iraq in the aftermath of the invasion, estimated that reconstruction work not taken into account in the World Bank/IMF study, including repairs to the oil industry, would cost another $20bn. To put these figures into perspective, the World Bank estimates that Iraq's gross domestic product - the combined value of all the goods and services the country produces - stood at just $18.4bn in 2002, the year before the US-led invasion. In October 2003, a group of 37 countries agreed to provide a total of $32.1bn towards the reconstruction effort. By far the biggest contribution came from the US, which set aside $18.6bn, followed by Japan, with $4.9bn. Other major donors included Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, which pledged $500m each, the UK, with $452m, and Spain, with $220m. Spending delays However, the reconstruction programme has made disappointing progress since then, mainly because work on the ground has been hampered by an unexpectedly fierce campaign of violence by Iraqi insurgents. The most telling measure of the difficulties faced by contractors operating in Iraq is the unexpectedly slow pace at which the reconstruction money is being spent. According to the US government, just $1.2bn of its budget had been spent by 22 September. Of this, $623m - more than half - was spent on security-related measures, including training and equipping the Iraqi army and police force. Repairs to the electricity network were the second biggest item of expenditure, absorbing $300m. Moreover, the US in August diverted some $3.4bn it had set aside to rebuild Iraq's water and power networks towards measures aimed at improving security and creating jobs. Meanwhile, the other donor nations - who between them pledged $13.5bn - have so far released only about $1bn of the total, partly because of concerns over the deteriorating security situation. Iraqi leaders are urging them to disburse the rest of the cash, saying that speedily completing the reconstruction work offers the best hope of ending the violence that plagues the country. Mark Parkinson Bodmin Cornwall _______________________________________ Sent via the CASI-analysis mailing list To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-analysis All postings are archived on CASI's website at http://www.casi.org.uk