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RE: [casi] Madrid Conference



>Hi,
Those must be US wireservices talking up another phantom US victory. The UK
independent has got this today:


World spurns US appeal for $30bn to rebuild Iraq
By Stephen Castle in Brussels
24 October 2003


Kofi Annan, the UN secretary general, appealed yesterday at the donor
conference for Iraq for nations to give generously to tackle the disease,
homelessness and malnutrition afflicting the country.

At the start of the fund-raising conference in Madrid its Spanish hosts
lowered expectations by setting a $6bn (3.5bn) target for the gathering,
which is being held against the backdrop of divisions over the US-led
occupation. Pledges are certain to fall short of the $30bn sought by
Washington, with Europe expected to stump up about 700m (487m) from EU and
national coffers for 2004.

Moufawak al-Rabii, a member of Iraq's US-appointed Governing Council, stepped
up pressure for a big cash injection by describing the deprivation in Iraq to
delegates from 77 nations. Mr Rabii said more than two-thirds of Iraqis depend
on food rations, less than half have access to clean drinking water and one in
five children under the age of five is malnourished. Health conditions are
deteriorating with maternal mortality quadrupling and diseases such as malaria
returning to Iraq.

"We are thinking now of the basic needs, such as providing food and health
services and fighting unemployment, which creates the environment for
terrorism and which feeds terrorism," he said.

Iraq's Minister of Immigration and Refugees, Mohammed Jassem Khudair, said he
needed to accommodate an estimated 4 million Iraqis displaced or driven out of
the country.

President George Bush plans to set aside $20bn for Iraqi reconstruction over
18 months, although the US Senate voted to convert $10bn of the package into
loans to be repaid with Iraq's oil revenues. Yesterday Washington made it
clear that its aid will be paid bilaterally and not through an international
trust fund administered by the UN, the World Bank and a committee of Iraqis.

With agreement having been reached on a new UN resolution, the climate of the
conference is better than many expected. Japan has pledged $1.5bn for 2004,
South Korea has agreed to pay $200m, and Canada has offered $150m. The World
Bank has said it will lend Iraq $3bn to $5bn over the next five years. Spain
has pledged a total of 300m from 2003-07, although that sum includes loans,
and Britain has promised 260m in 2005-05.

Nevertheless several countries have noted a World Bank and UN estimate that
Iraq could absorb no more than $5.2bn dollars in aid in 2004. And, despite
agreement on the new UN resolution, countries such as France, Germany and
Russia, which opposed the war, have already said they will not provide any
more money. Worries about security in Iraq and the capacity of the economy to
absorb large-scale aid have prompted some potential donors to delay
commitments.

Diplomats hope the conference will send a signal of commitment to
reconstruction, and that Arab nations will play a significant role. Mr Annan
argued that the needs of the Iraqis should transcend political arguments about
the country's political future. "We all look forward to the earliest possible
establishment of a sovereign Iraqi government but the start of the
reconstruction cannot be delayed until that day," he said.
   24 October 2003 13:38

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===== Original Message From pvk66@starpower.net =====
>a preliminary look at the figures pledged for Iraq shows far
>less spectacular results than immediate press reporting so
>far. I roughly counted up the grants and loans, and it comes
>to over $13 billion from countries other than the US,as well
>as the WB, IMF etc. (the US has already pledged $20 billion,
>but the US Senate wants half of that to be a loan).
>But,about two-thirds of this $13 billion will take the form
>of loans, mainly from the WB, IMF, and Japan. Pledged grants
>total only about $3.5 billion, most of that from the EU and
>Japan. This is all a bit of a rough guide at the moment, but
>its clearly not the wonderful surprise the newswires have
>been talking about all day.
>Peter Kiernan
>
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