The Australian Government is providing an extra $22.5 million towards the reconstruction of Iraq and improving the lives of the Iraqi people.
This latest contribution builds on our previous commitment of $173 million bringing our total support for Iraq to more than $195 million since 2003.
Australia welcomes the International Compact for Iraq, launched yesterday in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. The Compact is an important set of commitments that will help to build a stable, secure and prosperous future for Iraq. It also represents an important partnership between the Iraqi Government, its people and the international community.
Australia will continue to work with Iraq and the international community in the reconstruction process and will ensure that our aid program supports the Compact goals. Iraq will continue to lead the reconstruction process, toward ensuring that key national development priorities are met. Australian assistance will maintain its emphasis on Iraqi participation, capacity building, and employment creation.
Australia has also agreed to forgive 80 per cent of Iraq's debt to the Australian Government of $1.1 billion (approximately USD850 million). Approximately $644 million of Iraq's debt owing to Australia has already been forgiven (USD512 million). A further $214 million (USD170 million) will be forgiven subject to Iraq's successful completion of an International Monetary Fund program, scheduled to be completed in December 2008.
Malcolm Cole (Minister's Office) 02 6277
AusAID (Public Affairs) 0417 680 590