Iraqi Reconstruction - Rebuilding Iraq
Bureau of Public Affairs
September 17, 2003
[Montage of four photos: Men standing in outdoor market, official carrying box of USAID supplies, woman standing and children at desks (©USAID photos by Thomas Hartwell); construction worker (©Photo courtesy on Bechtel National, Inc. via USAID).]
"We're helping to rebuild Iraq, where the dictator built palaces for himself, instead of hospitals and schools. And we will stand with the new leaders of Iraq as they establish a government of, by, and for the Iraqi people."
--President George W. Bush
- The U.S. has contributed $1.48 billion to Iraq since February 2003:
--$506.7 million in humanitarian assistance
--$980.5 million for reconstruction
- More than 30 other nations are contributing financially to the reconstruction effort.
- The World Food Program brought in 1.7 million metric tons of food, more than a three months' supply, to Iraq.
- 22.3 million doses of measles, tuberculosis, hepatitis B, diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus and polio vaccines have been provided, enough to vaccinate 4.2 million children
Under the regime of Saddam Hussein, Iraqis suffered not only terrible human rights abuses but also tremendous economic hardships. Saddam siphoned off billions of dollars in revenue for personal use, depriving Iraqis of decent jobs, schools, and hospitals. Growing out of President Bush's commitment to the Iraqi people, the United States and numerous other nations are providing material support for Iraq's political, economic and human reconstruction.
- The streets in Baghdad, Basra, Mosul, Tikrit, Kirkuk, An Nasiriyah, Diwaniyah, Al Kut, Al Ramadi and Al Fallujah, are bustling with traffic and commerce. Northern Iraq and the Shi'a heartland, running from just south of Baghdad to the Kuwaiti border, are secure.
- More than 40 of the 55 most wanted former Iraqi officials have been apprehended by Coalition Forces.
- Recruitment for the first battalion of the new Iraqi army is underway: 1,200 Iraqis being trained this year; 40,000 over two years.
- 46,000 Iraqi police are patrolling Iraqi streets, most alongside coalition forces. A new police academy is being established.
- Over 90 percent of Iraq's public schools and all of Baghdad's universities have reopened. For the start of the school year, it is anticipated that nearly 1,000 schools will be rehabilitated.
- All of Iraq's hospitals and 95 percent of its health clinics are open and providing services.
- Dilapidated and looted power, water and sewage treatment facilities are being rehabilitated. Electric generation now averages 75 percent of pre-war levels.
- Phone service is being restored to hundreds of thousands of customers.
- Iraqi marketplaces have many goods previously unavailable including television satellite dishes.
- The economic situation is being stabilized by continued payment of public-sector salaries and through a range of construction and infrastructure projects that will create jobs.
- Long-term growth is being promoted through regional integration and increased trade.
- Banking Reforms:
--Unified currency with new bank notes to be in circulation between October and January
--New monetary policies developed based on transparency and discipline
- Iraq's Governing Council was formed on July 13, including 25 members representing Iraq's diversity.
- All major Iraqi cities have city councils. Over 85 percent of Iraqi towns have town councils.
- All Baghdad neighborhoods have advisory councils. Massive cleanups of Baghdad's poorest neighborhoods have been completed.
- Eleven government ministry buildings have been rehabilitated and/or equipped.
- Dozens of NGOs are being funded to deliver local services and build a civil society.