Accessibility links

Donors Pledge $1 Billion for Iraqi Reconstruction - 2004-02-29

A group of international donors has agreed to place $1 billion into a fund to assist in the rebuilding of Iraq.

The money will start flowing into Iraq this year and will be the first installment of the $33 billion that international donor countries pledged to Iraq in October.

Iraqi officials asked for $4 billion in aid to fund a series of rebuilding projects, a list they presented to donor nations during a two-day meeting in Abu Dhabi.

The assistant to Qatar's foreign minister, Mohamed El-Remihey, says a donor committee made up of 12 nations that have pledged at least $10 million each, will review the rebuilding proposals that Iraqi officials have suggested.

Mr. El-Remihey said the group may approve some of those projects as early as May, when the next donor meeting is scheduled.

Twelve nations now have seats on the donor committee, including the United States, India and Spain. Japan, the country that has promised the largest financial contribution to Iraq - close to $500 million, will head the donor committee for a period of one year.

The $1 billion in aid will be distributed through a trust fund managed by the United Nations and the World Bank.

Many nations have been hesitant to send money directly into Iraq because of continuing security concerns.