2005-06 Aid budget: Iraq reconstruction assistance

The Australian Government will provide an additional $45 million over two years to provide further reconstruction assistance to Iraq.

This funding demonstrates the Government's commitment to helping build stability and democracy in Iraq. This additional funding will bring Australia's total reconstruction commitment to Iraq to over $170 million since 2003.

Australia's assistance is aimed at supporting Iraq's transition to a stable, democratic state with an open, market-based economy. Australia will continue to focus on those areas where it has particular expertise, including governance, agriculture, and related economic and trade reforms.

Our assistance will include new and continuing training programmes in Australia and the region for Iraqi officials, aimed at enhancing Iraq's human resource capacity. Australia will continue to assist in developing technical and managerial expertise in key Iraqi ministries and other institutions to help build this capacity.

Assistance to Iraq's agricultural sector will include providing on-going training programmes in Australia for Ministry of Agriculture officials; utilising Australia's expertise in areas such as dry-land agriculture, irrigation, salinity and water resources management; and enhancing the capacity of Iraq's research and extension services through crop productivity and integrated pest management projects.

Further Australian support in the area of governance will include helping to build the capacity of Iraqi Special Tribunal (IST) personnel through training in court administration; Australian police training of Iraqi police cadets in Jordan; and possible additional training for key Iraqi Ministries. We will also continue to look at ways in which we can further support the electoral process underpinning Iraq's democratic transition.

Media inquiries:

Chris Kenny (Mr Downer's office) 0419 206 890
AusAID (Public Affairs) 0417 680 590