Monday, July 5, 2004

Show me da money

The Guardian:

Iraq gets fraction of US aid billions

Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington
Monday July 5, 2004
The Guardian

The US government spent just 2% of the $18.4bn (£10bn) it had obtained from Congress for the urgent reconstruction of Iraq before formally ending its occupation last week.

. . .

The White House blames the spending paralysis on the wave of ambushes, kidnapping and sabotage gripping Iraq that has forced many projects to be postponed or cancelled.

. . .

With the US reluctant to disburse cash, reconstruction money has largely been drawn from Iraq's oil receipts, with some $19bn of a $20bn fund spent during the Coalition Provisional Authority's tenure in Iraq.

. . .

In its accounting of the funds, the White House budget office said the largest disbursement so far was for rebuilding Iraq's police and military, with $194m spent.

But that figure was less than the planned spending of $3.2bn to provide security.

. . .

The reality, which was made apparent in the report released on Friday in advance of the July 4 holiday weekend, is bound to raise questions from Iraq's new rulers - and during the US election campaign - about the use of the $87bn package approved by Congress in November.

The Bush administration had said that the funds were needed urgently to stabilise Iraq, and enhance the security of US forces.

Okay, so where is that $87 billion and all the other money appropriated for Iraq?

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