U.S. Agency for International Development
March 21, 2003
Iraq Reconstruction: Environmental Protection and Natural Resource Management
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is committed to environmental protection and improved management of natural resources essential to Iraq's recovery and long-term economic development. USAID, working in close coordination with other U.S. agencies, is planning to address key environmental issues in Iraq by:
Water Supply and Sanitation. Five million people are at risk from lack of access to safe water and sanitation. In rural areas, less than half of the rural population has access to potable water. In urban centers, pumping of untreated sewage into the Tigris River and waterways is a serious environmental and health concern. USAID will:
Improved soil and water resources management. Farmers in Iraq are struggling under poor environmental conditions with few tools for coping with pests, drought, salinization, shortages of basic inputs, and lack of appropriate technologies. Land degradation, salinization, and declining crop yields due to mismanagement of land resources and lack of inputs, are serious problems, especially in irrigated lands. USAID will:
Wetlands reclamation. The Iraqi regime deliberately and systematically destroyed one of Iraq's key natural resources by draining and destroying the Mesopotamian marshlands. USAID will:
Environmental Review. To ensure that its humanitarian and development assistance for Iraq is environmentally sound, USAID will:
The U.S. Agency for International Development has provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for more than 40 years.
For more information on USAID's humanitarian relief efforts in Iraq, please visit www.usaid.gov/iraq/.