America: Iraq on Its Own to Rebuild
Posted on Mar 25, 2006
The U.S. has apparently just told Iraq that it should no longer expect American dollars to aid in the country’s reconstruction—rather, Iraq must rely on its own revenues.
Did anyone know this was coming?
The head of the U.S.-led program to rebuild Iraq said Thursday that the Iraqi government can no longer count on U.S. funds and must rely on its own revenues and other foreign aid, particularly from Gulf nations.
“The Iraqi government needs to build up its capability to do its own capital budget investment,” Daniel Speckhard, director of the U.S. Iraq Reconstruction Management Office, told reporters.
The burden of funding reconstruction poses an extraordinary challenge for a country that needs tens of billions of dollars for repairing its infrastructure at the same time it’s struggling to pay its bills. Iraq’s main revenue source - oil - is hampered by insurgent attacks on production facilities and pipelines, forcing the country to spend $6 billion a year on oil imports.