Donor nations reiterate support for Iraq

14th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

14 October 2004 , TOKYO - Donor nations for Iraq reiterated their support Thursday for the development of the Iraqi government and their commitment fo fulfill pledges made at the previous year's Madrid Donors' Conference. The renewed support came at the end of a two-day conference attended by 55 countries and organisations, including some that opposed the United States-led war in Iraq - Russia, France and Germany. During the conference, participants focused on how to make use of funds held in trust by the

14 October 2004

TOKYO - Donor nations for Iraq reiterated their support Thursday for the development of the Iraqi government and their commitment fo fulfill pledges made at the previous year's Madrid Donors' Conference.

The renewed support came at the end of a two-day conference attended by 55 countries and organisations, including some that opposed the United States-led war in Iraq - Russia, France and Germany.

During the conference, participants focused on how to make use of funds held in trust by the United Nations and World Bank totalling about one billion dollars, nearly half from host nation Japan, according to a spokeswoman at United Nations in Tokyo.

While the details of how to make use of the money were not disclosed, a press statement said the money has been allocated to priority projects approved by the Iraqi Strategy Review Board.

On Wednesday, Iraqi officials pleaded for donor countries to honour pledges to their war-torn country for reconstruction activities.

"Please do not delay - the time to make firm commitments is now. Honour your pledges now," Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh told the conference.

During last year's aid meeting in Madrid, about 40 countries and organizations promised USD 33 billion in grants and loans to Iraq by the end of 2007.

However, only about USD 2.8 billion of that has been deposited in World Bank and UN funds, according to Japan's foreign ministry.

Many donors fear that poor security conditions and instability in Iraq will undermine reconstruction efforts.

Iraqi Planning Minister Mehdi Hafedh said the country will step up efforts to improve national security and police forces, and boost oil production.

During the meeting, Iran pledged USD 10 million while France, Germany and Russia did not announce any pledges, according to the UN spokeswoman.

The conference was the first international meeting on the issue since sovereignty was handed over to the Iraqis from the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority on 28 June.

DPA

Subject: German news 

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