Iraq One Year Later: Freedom and Progress
Bureau of Public Affairs
March 26, 2004
"We are helping to rebuild Iraq, where the dictator built palaces for himself instead of hospitals and schools. And we will work with the new leaders of Iraq as they establish a government of, by, and for the Iraqi people."
--President George W. Bush
The year since Coalition forces began their campaign to free the Iraqi people has seen advances in many areas. Saddam Hussein's regime is deposed. Iraqi freedom has been won, democracy is being built, and infrastructure and the quality of life have improved.
Education Moving Forward
- More than 2,300 schools rehabilitated, nearly 900 more underway. 4,500 new schools to be built over the next four years.
- More than 32,000 secondary school teachers and 3,000 supervisors trained.
- Entry-level teacher monthly salaries raised from a pre-war $5 to $66.
- Over eight million new textbooks printed and distributed.
- More than 180,000 desks, 61,000 chalk boards, 808,000 primary student kits and 81,000 teacher kits distributed.
Freedom and Democracy
- Iraq is on the path to sovereignty on June 30.
- Provincial councils in 16 local governing regions have been reconstituted and are more representative of the ethnic groups and women. Hundreds of democratic meetings have been held across Iraq.
- Iraqis have signed an unprecedented interim Iraqi constitution guaranteeing basic rights for all Iraqis. These include freedom of religion and of expression, the right to peaceably assemble and to be treated equally under the law. Discrimination based on gender, nationality, religion or origin is strictly prohibited.
- Iraqis have access to an ever-growing number of independent sources of news, including newspapers, radio stations, and satellite television networks. There are over 100 Iraqi newspapers and 70 radio stations.
- The Iraqi justice system is operational, with courts open, judges' qualifications reviewed, and defendants rights protected.
- Women are being encouraged to participate fully in government and society.
- More than 150,000 Iraqis including 75,000 new police, are now protecting their fellow citizens. This is more than the number of Coalition forces.
- Forty-six of the 55 most wanted Saddam Hussein regime members have been captured or killed.
- The Coalition continues to mount aggressive offensives against the remnants of Saddam Hussein's regime and foreign terrorists.
Infrastructure and Quality of Life
- Electricity levels exceeded pre-war capacity in early fall of 2003.
- Schools, clinics and hospitals have been renovated and reopened.
- Iraq's 2004 budget for health care is $950 million; Saddam Hussein's regime spent $16 million on health care in 2002.
- Power plants, water and sanitation facilities, bridges and roads are being rehabilitated.
- Iraq's oil infrastructure is being rebuilt, with the Iraqi industry already producing 2.5 million barrels of oil daily.
- Small businesses are thriving in the streets of Iraq - creating new jobs for Iraqis.
- Iraq has a stable currency. The value of the new Iraqi dinar has already risen 25 percent.
- Women's Centers have been opened throughout the country to offer vocational training and educational opportunities.